EVP & General Manager, Velocity and Automotive Content
Robert Scanlon is Executive Vice President and General Manager of Velocity and Automotive Content at Discovery Communications, Inc., overseeing programming, development, production, marketing and communications for Velocity. Additionally, he is charged with developing automotive content globally for Discovery Communications.
Under his guidance Velocity has grown larger and faster than any other ad-supported cable network since launching in October 2011. A little more than five years after Velocity debuted, the network’s distribution has grown +85%, revenues have tripled and ratings among its target M25-54 demo have doubled.
Last year, the network celebrated record ratings success by earning its highest delivering year, quarter (4Q16) and December ever during Primetime among key demos including M25-54, M18-49, P25-54, P18-49, P2+ and Households. Additionally, 4Q16 marked 17 quarters of year-over-year Primetime delivery growth among Households and P2+, and Velocity earned strong ratings gains in December during Primetime (vs. December 2015) including: +14% P25-54; +9% M25-54; +18% P18-49; +13% M18-49; + 14% P18-34; and +8% P2+.
Velocity’s gains in 2016 were fueled in part by the third season of Bitchin’ Rides, which was the network’s #1 series with an average 0.53 M25-54 rating and delivered 535,000 P2+ viewers per episode. Also powering growth was Velocity’s #2 series Wheeler Dealers and the nearly 100 hours of Barrett-Jackson Live which earned eight million viewers (P2+), a +29% increase over the 2015 broadcasts.
Scanlon has developed many successful specials and series for Velocity including Barrett-Jackson Live, Fantomworks, Bitchin’ Rides, Chasing Classic Cars, Junkyard Empire, Garage Squad, Unique Rides, Iron Ressurection, Americarna, Overhaulin’, Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans and more.
Prior to Velocity, Scanlon served as vice president in the Discovery Communications Emerging Networks Group, where his responsibilities included program development and production for Military Channel and HD Theater. Prior to joining Discovery, he was recruited by the NFL to manage the creation and launch of the NFL Network.
As a 36-year veteran of media, cable and broadcast network television, Scanlon was previously part of founding management at Speedvision Network and Outdoor Life Network where he planned the staffing, programming, production and network operation of the channels.
In 1979 Scanlon was one of the first 35 employees at upstart network ESPN where he was immediately involved in every aspect of the company from the construction of the broadcast facility to overseeing programming and network operations. During his 16-year tenure at ESPN, Scanlon served as senior coordinating producer for motorsports and as the executive in charge of production for college football and Major League Baseball studio production. Scanlon’s contributions included the development of the live cut-in during the NCAA College Basketball tournament. Before joining ESPN, Scanlon worked at ABC Sports and News under Roone Arledge after beginning his career at HBO.
Scanlon graduated from Ithaca College with a dual major in Television/Radio and Business Administration (B.S. 1974). He is based out of Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.