by KATE BERNHARDT
9721 Sherrill Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37932
A full list of SNI executives may be found here .
Founded as the successful newspaper company known as The Penny Press by E.W. Scripps in 1875, the company has turned into a leading network for lifestyle media. After launching HGTV in 1994 and the Food Network in 1997, the company evolved into what is now known as the Scripps Network Interactive. With platforms such as cable television, digital, mobile and publishing, SNI continues to expand their six main lifestyle brands: HGTV, Food Network, The Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Network and Great American Country .
As the first addition to SNI, Home and Home and Garden Television (HGTV) represents the ultimate binge-watching cable channel. According to recent reportings, HGTV dominates the market in holding the #1 most ad receptive audience in cable, #1 channel inspiring viewers to purchase and #1 channel in captivating one of the most upscale audiences in cable . SNI President of National Ad Sales & Marketing Jon Steinlauf explained, “HGTV is arguably the hottest network in the country right now on year-to-year growth.” A new goal for HGTV is to expand their audience base beyond women. By inviting men into the network, they’re up 34% in viewership and have also added more male hosts to their shows, and made shows concentrate more on the financial aspects of projects.  As SNI prepares for fall, they’ve announced renewals of the popular shows House Hunters Renovation, Lakefront Bargain Hunt, Island Hunters and Tiny House Hunters .
Although critics remain skeptical as to whether the Food Network is remaining profitable, recent calculations have shown that viewership peaked over the past year in November with 8.5 million viewers, while now the channel is at a low with only 6 million viewers. The Food Network recently announced that Aarti Sequeria was signed to a new series: 10 Minute Meals with Aarti Sequeria . In addition, the media brand is attempting to cater to more kids and families by renewing popular shows such as Chopped Teen, Guys Grocery Games Family Tournament, Rachael Ray’s Kids Cook Off and Kids Baking Championship .
In 2014, The Cooking Channel saw it’s best year yet, proving to be an up-and-coming brand at SNI. The brand saw a ratings increase of 17% among ages 25-54 . Successful shows such as Mo Rocca’s My Grandmother’s Ravioli, Extra Virgin and Real Girl’s Kitchen only helped skyrocket The Cooking Channel to be a larger content generator to SNI. In February, The Cooking Channel acquired Avec Eric, a high-rated cooking show featuring world-renowned chef Eric Ripert . In addition, the brand announced that the new cooking show with Tia Mowry, Tia Mowry at Home will debut on April 29th .
In an interest to generate more viewership, the DIY Network has renewed five popular series for the upcoming fall such as The Vanilla Ice Project, Kitchen Crashers, Barnwood Builders, Sledgehammer and Yard Crashers . DIY Network also announced that performer, actor and comedian Jim Belushi will be coming to the network in his new show, Building Belushi. In the six-episode series, Belushi will be followed as he builds a riverfront retreat cabin in Oregon .
The Travel Channel proves to be less robust in content, as not as many new shows have debuted this year. The new series, Breaking Borders premiered March 15th, as journalists and food lovers sat down to gather all sides of a conflict for a real conversation at the dinner table . The Travel Channel also announced their big network event and sweepstakes known as “The Trip” in January, where viewers could enter to win a trip to the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kuaui, Lanai and Hawaii .
Great American Country has experienced similar challenges to the Travel Channel, as the brand has somewhat stunted in producing new content. Premiered on January 17th, actress Betty White profiled Smartest Animals in America . In addition, the brand introduced the show, A Very Barry Branson on February 5th in which Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch) revives a 1970s musical variety show .
SNI’s New Marketing Guru
After recently naming Jon Steinlauf as President of National Ad Sales & Marketing at SNI in February, the company is hoping to get a revamped marketing plan. Says former predecessor Jon Gigliotti, “Jon has been integral to establishing Scripps Networks’ lifestyle brands as essential for advertisers looking to reach an upscale audience…He inspires and motivates the incredible teams who work for him, and his leadership has been instrumental in helping the company deliver a series of $1 billion upfronts” . Steinlauf explained that SNI has continued to maintain a great Return on Relationships, meaning the return a company gets on immersing brands inside content. SNI offers to sell marketers commercial that will run within the same three minute interval on all channels and websites. This tactic has allowed the company to increase 21% in net income from $109 million in 2013 to $132 million in 2014 . In addition, revenues have increased by 2.3% to $699 million in the past year while ad revenues are only marginally rising by 0.7% to $454 million in the past year.
The Scripps Network Interactive recently launched a plan to grow the U.S. based company into a significantly more global network. After purchasing 53% ownership of the Polish content Producer, TVN, SNI amounted in $1.5 billion in cash and assumed debt . From this expansion, the company is expecting international sales to make up 25% of the total revenue (representing an eight-fold increase from the previous year) . Currently, Food Network and HGTV reach an estimated 200 million homes around the world and 180 countries worldwide. SNI reports that the acquisition of TVN only represented a “key pillar” in their strategy for global expansion .
In addition to European expansions, SNI also announced plans to expand their brands in Latin America. As of the beginning of April, Food Network was launched with DIRECTV reaching more than 6 million viewers across the region of Brazil . Not only will the Food Network be broadcast in Standard Definition, but also in High Definition. Jim Samples, the President of Scripps Network International stated, “Expanding Food Network’s distribution in Latin America is a testament to Scripps Networks’ commitment to expanding the company’s regional footprint and to building scale for our international division.”  With stronger footholds in Europe and South America than ever before, SNI is now setting their sights on Asia in the hopes of increasing their presence in homes there.
Actress Tia Mowry Offers a Taste of Her Life in Cooking Channel’s ‘Tia Mowry at Home’ (accessed April 17th, 2015)
‘Building Belushi’ Newest Series to Expand DIY Network’s Celebrity Renovation Portfolio (accessed April 15th, 2015)
Cooking Channel enjoys its best ever year in 2014 (accessed April 15th, 2015)
Emmy Award-Winning Series ‘Avec Eric’ Joins Cooking Channel Lineup (accessed April 7th, 2015)
Food Network Stats (accessed April 15th, 2015)
HGTV and DIY Network to Premiere Eight New Shows This Fall (accessed April 15th, 2015)
History (accessed April 14th, 2015)
Is The Food Network Still Relevant? (accessed April 8th, 2015)
More Programmers Are Thinking Globally (accessed April 17th, 2015)
MKM Partners Reaffirms Neutral Rating for Scripps Network Interactive (accessed April 7th, 2015
Scripps Networks Expands Latin America Footprint (accessed April 7th, 2015)
Scripps Networks Interactive names Jon Steinlauf to top advertising sales position (accessed April 15th, 2015)
Scripps Networks Interactive’s (SNI) CEO Kenneth Lowe on Q2 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript (accessed April 7th, 2015)
Upfront Notebook: Scripps Adds Familiar Faces to Boost Brands (accessed April 15th)
03/19/2015: Scripps Network Interactive (accessed April 5th, 2015)