Photo of Discovery headquarters and the beloved Chompy from Wikimedia Commons

Discovery Communications, a cornerstone of Silver Spring’s revitalization, will move its headquarters to New York City and sell its downtown building.

As reported by NBC4, an email from CEO David Zaslav informed all employees earlier today.

“We have…made the difficult 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, according to the station’s report.

The company agreed to move to the Silver Spring location in October, 1998 and the building opened in the spring of 2003.

John Hendricks founded the company in 1985 as Discovery Channel. The company continues to operate Discovery ChannelAnimal PlanetInvestigation DiscoveryScienceTLC, and other brands.

In reaction, county Executive Isaiah Leggett release the following statement:

“I was disappointed to hear of the corporate decision by Discovery Communications to move it’s headquarters from downtown Silver Spring, where they have been located since 2003.

“Certainly these are challenging times in the communications industry and the recent Scripps merger involving Discovery undoubtedly had a significant impact.

“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. 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. 

“I know this was a tough decision for Discovery. I respect the contributions Discovery has made over the last 15 years to Silver Spring and Montgomery County. We will miss them.”

Mike Diegel