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. He is also responsible for Smithsonian Networks international business development and channel distribution. Smithsonian Channel launched in Canada in 2013, Singapore in 2016 and Latin America in 2018. One of the first HD channels, and now a leader in 4K, 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. Smithsonian Channel has produced the most ambitious aerial series in US television history, Aerial America; revealed the story of the discovery of the remains of the world’s largest snake, Titanoboa: Monster Snake; and won the prestigious Peabody Award for MLK: The Assassination Tapes. In 2016, Smithsonian Channel was one of six broadcasters to receive a Television Academy Honors, for its production of Mississippi Inferno.
Royle was previously EVP of Production for National Geographic Television & Film where he was a member of the core team that imagined and helped launch the National Geographic Channel. He was also Executive Producer of National Geographic EXPLORER, where he oversaw numerous productions including SuperCroc, Search for the Afghan Girl, and launched the popular Taboo series. Under his leadership, EXPLORER won more News & Documentary Emmys than any show on TV. As a filmmaker, his credits include: PBS’s Inside Gorbachev’s USSR, ABC’s American Detective in Russia and A&E’s The Eagle & The Bear. He was one of the producers of the NBC non-fiction comedy series, TV Nation which won a Primetime Emmy, and he directed the first episodes of TLC’s Trauma series 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 and duPont-Columbia Silver and Gold Batons. In 2016, he was an inaugural recipient in Cannes of the World Screen Factual Trendsetter Award, honoring four individuals who have made significant contributions to the television business. In 2018, he was named to the Cablefax 100, ranking the most influential executives in the industry.