Clark Bunting – TV Network Executive

Clark Bunting. M.A. Class of 1984. Michigan State University. TV Network Executive.

As an avid snorkeler and a tireless explorer growing up, Clark enjoyed the lakes of Michigan as much as the surrounding woods, farms and grain fields in Howell, where the Bunting family lived.

The area where he was raised was steeped in Chippewa and Potawatomi Indian lore. Clark developed a deep appreciation of the natural world.

This interest in nature set the stage for what would become an amazing career at Discovery Networks in pursuit of some the world’s most breathtaking films.

But college was the stepping stone. For Clark, the natural choice was Michigan State University in East Lansing. He earned a B.A. in 1977 – with help from a federal student loan – and an M.A. in 1984. He also met his wife Karen at MSU.

As an advertising major, Clark enjoyed MSU because his professors were practitioners, people with hands-on experience.

In 1984, he took the perceived value of that hands-on experience and applied it to his first job out of MSU’s grad program: replying to an ad a Washington, D.C. newspaper, he became an aide to then-U.S. Rep. Bob Carr of East Lansing.

But it was Clark’s next job that really clicked. When Discovery Channel began in 1985, Bunting was its second employee.

When he started, Clark would buy foreign documentaries for as little as $500. As his career progressed, he was instrumental in the creation of popular shows like “The Crocodile Hunter” and the Emmy-winning “Twisted Tales.”

Today, as Executive Vice President and General Manager, he runs all of Discovery’s operational, programming and management aspects.

In the midst of it all, he has found the time to launch the Discovery Channel’s sister network, The Learning Channel, and create Animal Planet. With two children of his own, it’s no wonder Clark wants his networks to offer kids a safe haven on television.

As an MSU alumnus, Clark has also found another way to give back to the community, providing a new generation of MSU students with internships and support for research.