Koppel To Discovery Channel

It’s not HBO after all. Ted Koppel and crew will be joining the Silver Spring-based Discovery Channel as managing editor to make long-form documentaries. He’ll be joined, as expected, by longtime Executive Producer Tom Bettag and eight former Nightline staff members.

“Discovery has always represented the highest quality television in the world. With Ted Koppel and his team, Discovery is making a long-term commitment to produce high quality programming that gives our global audience insight, perspective and analysis beyond just the headlines,” said Discovery President Billy Campbell. “Our objective is to create a more substantial approach to in-depth journalism. We want audiences to know that when there is a major world event or topic that affects our lives, and they are looking for more context, more depth and more information, Discovery Channel is where they will find it.”

In his remarks, after a very graceful and classy exit from ABC News, Koppel takes a little swipe at David Westin and the other execs at his old network: “The ten of us are enormously excited to be at a place that wants nothing more than to produce the kind of television journalism that focuses on issues that matter to the largest number of people,” Koppel said. “We look forward to creating quality programming that provides the in-depth information for which Discovery Channel is known.”

The team’s first program will air this fall.