Discovery Channel headquarters to leave Silver Spring for New York City

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SILVER SPRING, Md. - Discovery Communications announced on Tuesday their plans to move their headquarters from Silver Spring, Maryland to New York City in 2019.

They will also establish a National Operations Headquarters at Scripps Networks Interactive current campus in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The corporation, known for Shark Week and popular cable channels like TLC, is in the process of buying Scripps, the owner of the Food Network, Travel Channel, and HGTV.

The company says that approximately 1,300 people are employed in the Silver Spring location.

“Certainly these are challenging times in the communications industry and the recent Scripps merger involving Discovery undoubtedly had a significant impact," said County Executive Ike Leggett in a statement.

Discovery was founded in Landover, Maryland in 1985, but the company moved to its Silver Springs location in 2003.

Despite the move, which is expected to happen sometime next year, Discovery says it had developed a Maryland Network Hub that will hold network and support functions as a way to continue to support the area.

There's no guarantee it will remain in Silver Spring, but county leaders say they will push for that.

"Notwithstanding these changes in objective conditions, Montgomery County has been in discussions with Discovery in the past months since the merger in an effort to respond to the challenges faced by an independent television, entertainment, and education channel in a radically-changing industry," said Leggett. "The County and State made a substantial proposal designed to accommodate Discovery’s challenges. Together, we were ready to provide considerable incentives to retain their presence in the County."

Discovery also has a state-of-the-art media distribution facility in Sterling, Virginia, known as the Northern Virginia Technology Hub. The hub will remain open, though Discovery says they have a plan to open another technology footprint in Knoxville.

Jane Redicker, the President and CEO of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce also released a statement, saying:

"The Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and its member businesses were surprised and disappointed by Discovery Communications' announcement this morning that the company would consolidate operations in New York.

Losing Discovery will, of course, be a blow for Silver Spring. The company was an integral piece of our revitalization some 15 years ago, and over the years, Discovery and its employees have contributed so much to the vitality of our business community and to the Silver Spring community at large. We will miss them, but we hope many of those employees will remain here to take advantage of the many new opportunities that we believe will open.

The Chamber remains optimistic about the future of Silver Spring. We have so much to offer – walkable Metro access, an educated workforce, convenient and desirable housing options to meet any budget, and wonderful amenities like the AFI Silver Theater, The Fillmore, and a large and diverse array of wonderful dining options.

We are already reaching out to our County and State government officials seeking their support in making sure that Silver Spring is at the very top of the list for any business seeking to relocate to or expand in Montgomery County."

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