Discovery Goes Into Review for PHD

Discovery Networks has placed its media planning and buying account into review, the client has confirmed.

Discovery spent $65 million in measured media in 2007, and the same amount from January through September of this year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Discovery’s U.S. networks group comprises about a dozen channels. In addition to the flagship network, they include The Learning Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Kids and the Military Channel, among others.

The incumbent shop is Omnicom’s PHD, which will defend, a client rep said.

Word of the review follows the recent disclosure that Jen Neal, who led the Discovery account at PHD, is leaving the agency. Last week, the shop appointed Scott Hagedorn CEO of PHD USA, effectively replacing Matt Seiler, who left this summer to become global CEO of Interpublic’s Universal McCann.

Hagedorn inherited a smaller role, as Seiler was responsible for all North America operations. He joins from sibling media shop OMD, most recently as managing director of the agency’s East Coast region.

Neal, most recently an evp, managing partner at PHD, had been offered the even more diminished role of U.S. president, but declined and has left the company, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

The client gave no reason for the review, but the incumbent has handled the account for close to a decade. Previously, the business was managed by New York-based Creative Media, one of the agencies that Omnicom rolled up (along with PentaCom and Advanswers) to form PHD U.S. in 2002.