Discovery Health Taps Tacconi For Top Job

Discovery Health Channel has a new chief. Len Tacconi, a marketing executive with vast experience in direct-to-consumer advertising, will shift gears. The former executive director of corporate marketing at Merck takes the top management job at the network. He hopes to attract more DTC dollars to Discovery Health.

As president of Discovery Health Media Enterprises, Tacconi will also be responsible for the FitTV network, VOD operation Discovery Health On-Call and a continuing medical-education business for physicians. (The latter is in line with his experience at Merck, where he oversaw physician marketing.) Also on his plate are a range of multiplatform ventures.

At Merck, Tacconi was involved in DTC campaigns for drugs generating heavy spending, such as Singulair, Fosamax, Zocor and the troubled Vioxx. He joined the company in 1996--a year before a federal policy change opened the door for the DTC advertising boom--and helped to launch Merck's consumer-marketing operations.



Before Merck, Tacconi led North American marketing for Weight Watchers. The weight-loss category has potential growth possibilities on Discovery Health properties, particularly FitTV.

"Len's extensive experience in building the businesses of some of the health industry's biggest names will be vital as we aggressively extend the Discovery Health brand beyond television," says John Hendricks, Discovery Communications' founder and chairman. "Under Len's leadership, Discovery Health will continue to grow as the most trusted media source, enabling consumers to better manage their families' health and wellness needs."

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