New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Discovery's decision to move its headquarters to the state is proof that New York has positioned itself "at the forefront of the 21st century economy".
"We have. made the hard decision to reduce our footprint in Maryland over time, with the ultimate closure and sale of our One Discovery Place headquarters building in Silver Spring, expected in 2019", he wrote.
About 1,300 Discovery employees are based in the Silver Spring area, and 1,000 are based at Scripps' Knoxville headquarters. "We have therefore made the hard decision to reduce our footprint in Maryland over time, with the ultimate closure and sale of our One Discovery Place headquarters building in Silver Spring expected in 2019", Zaslav said in the memo.
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The move is contingent on the closing of Discovery's $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Network Interactive, which is headquartered in Knoxville, TN. The company has been known to hold local events in downtown Silver Spring and in the D.C. metro area, both during Shark Week and throughout the year. The transaction was expected to close early this year, Discovery said at the time of the deal.
The company said its media facility in Sterling, Virginia will become a global technology center in the near future, and it plans to develop its "technology footprint" into Knoxville as well.
Leggett says that the 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".
Zaslav added that although "Maryland is where the magic of Discovery first began" the company made the decision to move because executives believe it is the right choice "for the long-term success of our company".
In addition to the Discovery, the company runs other TV networks including Animal Planet, TLC, Investigation Discovery and OWN.