by Bridget McAllister & Andrew Mendosa
Scripps Networks Interactive is a U.S.-based network television company specializing in home and lifestyle content. Their primary brands are Food Network, the Cooking Channel, the DIY Network, the Travel Channel, Great American Country, and HGTV.
Scripps has seen some shake-up of its lead executive team in the last month; programming executive Allison Page was promoted mid-November to General Manager of US Programming & Development for all six of Scripps’ brands. She was previously not involved with programming for the Cooking Channel or Food Network. The move was announced November 14th by Kathleen Finch, the company’s Chief Programming, Content, & Brand Officer, and hopes to capitalize off Page’s observed success propelling HGTV in particular to the forefront of cable TV. Under Page’s leadership, HGTV became the #1 cable network for women, and has seen consistent growth for nine consecutive quarters.
Page will be joined by Julie Taylor as new Senior Vice President of Program Planning & Strategy for all six networks in the United States.
Shannon Jamieson Driver, a Scripps veteran who has already been leading marketing campaigns for all six of Scripps’ lifestyle networks, was promoted to General Manager of U.S. Brand Marketing.
Mark Neil, former Chief Financial Officer for Scripps Interactive, was lured away from Scripps in late October by A&E Networks UK. A 25-year veteran of the media landscape, Neil will be leaving his contract with Scripps effective immediately in January 2017. Stepping into the role is Lori Hickok, who has been with Scripps since 1988.
On November 7th, Scripps Interactive released their third quarter 2016 earnings report. Scripps exceeded analyst estimates, reporting earnings of over $803 million despite expectations of closer to $795 million. EPS (earnings per share) was reported at $1.26, where the same quarter 2015 was only $1.03. 
Since the release of their third quarterly earnings report, Scripps has had the most animated rise in stock value it’s seen since July; a stock was worth just over $65 on the day of the release and the day after, rising each day afterward to $67, then just over $68, and so on. On November 14th, the day promotions were announced for Allison Page, Julie Taylor, and Shannon Jamieson Driver, stock value for Scripps shot up to nearly $74. While stock value has cooled after this peak, their stock value maintained stronger than the beginning of November at just over $69 at the closing of the market yesterday, November 28th. This is a happy upturn from earlier fourth quarter, when stocks reached a low of barely above $61 in mid-October.
Scripps Networks Interactive plans, too, to present on December 6th at the 44th annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, an organized corporate event where companies engage with the general community and, in particular, current and potential investors. Scripps has announced only that they will be updating investors on the company’s strategy going forward into the new year. 
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
On November 18th, Scripps used one of its most popular brands, Food Network, to expand its social media interaction. Food Network launched a conversation-simulating bot for Facebook Messenger, which gives users suggestions for recipes, interesting ingredients, or foods that compliment one another, just in time for the holiday season. Liesel Kipp, Vice President of Product Management for Scripps, explained that the bot’s intended purpose is to deepen the personal, friendly relationship consumers have with the much-trusted Food Network, and to increase consumer involvement with the brand on a daily, real-world basis. The bot currently “knows” approximately 60,000 Food Network recipes.
Scripps Interactive and media conglomerate Tribune Media agreed on October 28th upon a multi-year extension of their partnership regarding Food Network; namely, Scripps will continue to allow Tribune to broadcast Food Network over its cable networks. Food Network is one of Scripps’ most coveted and successful brands. Both companies have expressed great excitement for the deal.
However, Scripps also announced in early November that they will not be continuing their distribution deal with Netflix. In their third quarterly earnings call, CEO Ken Lowe explained that Scripps will be pursuing more traditional routes of advertising and distribution. Lowe explained that the decision was ultimately influenced by the monetization of content. The call stated that Netflix was no longer a promising source of revenue for Scripps’ brands, especially as Netflix has increased its focus on its own original content. However, Scripps announced in late September that it will be joining Viacom in moving its content to DirecTV Now, an AT&T-owned streaming service to be launched later this year. It is unknown whether Food Network, HGTV, and Scripps’ other brands will be immediately available on the platform when it launches. 
A newly released study taken in the Asia-Pacific region reveals that Scripps’ brands, Food Channel, Food Network, HGTV, and Travel Channel are “significantly outranking” their competitors in the home and travel categories. The consumers are described as “highly engaged”, meaning Scripps’ audience is the most receptive to advertisers. Scripps’ audience members in the region tend to be wealthy, and are more likely to visit restaurants they see advertised, renovate their homes, or purchase higher priced ingredients compared to competition.
Scripps Interactive also hopes to expand availability of the Food Network in Brazil through pay-tv platforms NET and Claro. Through a distribution deal with these platforms announced in early November, Food Network is now available to nearly 7 million Brazilian households. This adds to the expansion of Food Network availability in Chile, Argentina, and Mexico from August through September.  
On October 19th, plans were announced to launch the Cooking Channel in Canada through a distribution deal with Canadian media company Corus Entertainment. This would build upon Scripps Interactive’s existing brand presence in Canada, joining Food Network, HGTV, and the DIY Network.
However, Scripps has set its sights past North America and even Asia to Europe, where its popular channels are currently unavailable. Scripps successfully purchased Polish broadcast network TVN last year, and announced on October 25th that it will use TVN as a foothold to make HGTV, Food Network, and the Travel Channel available in Europe for the first time in 2017. Though initially only in Poland, it remains unannounced whether Scripps has any nearby plans to branch out to other countries.
Scripps Networks Interactive is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, located at 9721, Sherrill Blvd. Their head of investor relations is Mike Gallentine, who can be reached at (865) 560-4473.
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