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Advisory Board Members
Chief Programming Officer & EVP Production
David Royle leads the editorial team that launched the Smithsonian Channel, overseeing commissioning, acquiring, producing and scheduling. Smithsonian Channel is now available by satellite, cable and telecom service, as well as on multiple digital and mobile platforms. It launched in Canada in 2013 and in Singapore in 2016. One of the first HD channels, it has won critical acclaim for its programming and is the youngest channel to win an Emmy. In November 2015, Smithsonian Networks launched a 4K subscription streaming service, Smithsonian Earth.
Smithsonian Channel has been recognized for smart, contemporary non-fiction that is entertaining and informative. It has produced the most ambitious aerial filming series in US television history – Aerial America. It revealed the exclusive story of the discovery of the remains of the world’s largest snake in Titanoboa: Monster Snake. Its searing account of the days leading up to the assassination of civil rights’ leader Martin Luther King, MLK: The Assassination Tapes, won the prestigious Peabody Award. And it unveiled the world’s first-ever bionic man – a 6-foot-tall robot built entirely from bionic body parts and implantable synthetic organs in The Incredible Bionic Man. In 2016, Smithsonian Channel was one of six broadcasters to receive a Television Academy Honors, for its production of Mississippi Inferno about the courageous role of African-American farmers in the civil rights movement.
Royle was previously EVP of Production for National Geographic Television & Film where he helped launch the National Geographic Channel and oversaw numerous productions including SuperCroc, Search for the Afghan Girl, and launched the popular Taboo series. He was the Executive Producer of the award-winning television series, National Geographic Explorer. Under his leadership Explorer won more News and Documentary Emmy Awards than any other show on TV.
As an independent filmmaker in New York, he produced and directed programming for a wide range of broadcasters. His credits include: Hedrick Smith’s ground-breaking examination of the fall of the Soviet Union, Inside Gorbachev’s USSR; PBS’s Assignment Africa about the limitations of American media coverage of Africa; ABC’s American Detective in Russia and the 52-part A&E series The Eagle & The Bear. He was one of the producers of the primetime Emmy Award-winning NBC non-fiction comedy series, Michael Moore’s TV Nation and directed the first episodes of TLC’s real life “ER” series, Trauma that pioneered the use of small format cameras on American television.
David Royle has won all America’s major broadcasting awards including: nine Emmys, the George Polk Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Peabody Award and du Pont-Columbia University Awards Silver and Gold Batons.
He won a Morehead Scholarship to the University of North Carolina; and earned his MA at the University of Minnesota as a Rotary International Journalism Scholar.