29 February 2012

Babbit joins Travel Channel programming team; Youngblood to lead DIY Network

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 29, 2012-- Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) continues to focus on developing its newest network, Travel Channel, into the same sort of category leader as HGTV and Food Network, announcing on Wednesday that Andy Singer has been promoted to general manager at Travel Channel and adding Ross Babbit to the team as the senior vice president of programming and production.

Scripps Networks Interactive is a leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television, the Internet and emerging platforms, with power brands HGTV and DIY Network in the home category, Food Network and Cooking in the food category, as well as Travel Channel and Great American Country.

As GM, Singer will be responsible for setting the programming strategy and editorial vision for Travel Channel. This is an expanded role for the veteran programmer, who joined Travel Channel's programming team in August after contributing the previous four years to the successful content development at Scripps-owned HGTV and DIY Network. Additionally, Singer will work closely with the entire SNI ad sales group to better leverage Travel Channel's highly engaged audience in the marketplace.

Singer joined Scripps Networks in 2005, serving as head of DIY Network's programming for more than three years before being named GM in 2010, giving him a depth of experience guiding program development, production, on-air talent acquisition, scheduling, marketing and creative services. His achievements include development of highly engaging and entertaining home improvement shows including The Vanilla Ice Project, Man Caves, Renovation Rookies, Yard Crashers and King of Dirt. Singer also commissioned DIY's groundbreaking series, Disaster House, and America's first interactive home renovation series, Run My Renovation. Prior to joining Scripps, Singer was a show producer at VH1 and also produced programs for A&E, Twentieth Century Fox, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and nationally syndicated broadcast series Extra and Inside Edition.

"Andy is a proven programmer and a strong leader who has made his mark quickly wherever he's been," said John Lansing, president of Scripps Networks. "His focus on developing scalable, breakout programs and identifying engaging talent is evident in the new programs Travel Channel is introducing this year, moving this brand closer to becoming a destination network."

Ross Babbit will move over to assist Singer at Travel Channel, taking the post of senior vice president, programming and production. Babbit, who succeeded Singer as GM at DIY Network, will concentrate on the creative and editorial direction at Travel Channel while overseeing the network's team of producers, editors and programming partners. Babbit also will oversee program scheduling.

Babbit has been with SNI since 2004. He is best known for developing groundbreaking programming stunts such as the Stud Finder Talent Contest, Crash Across America, and the Search for America's Most Desperate Landscape, the latter in partnership with NBC's TODAY show. Babbit also managed DIY Network's editorial relationships with various publications, such as Esquire, Popular Mechanics, Country Living and Food Network Magazine. Prior to joining Scripps in 2004, Babbit spent nearly five years as a producer of breaking news and feature stories for The CBS Early Show in New York. Throughout his career, he's worked as a writer, producer and/or director for Food Network, Comedy Central, ESPN, Lifetime, CBS News Productions, and 20th Century Fox.

Travel Channel is fully distributed to more than 96 million U.S. households, while DIY Network is a leading diginet with distribution in about 56 million homes.

"With the breadth and depth these changes bring to leadership team, I am confident that Travel Channel will establish itself as a top-tier lifestyle brand through content development and talent procurement," said Laureen Ong, President of Travel Channel.

Replacing Babbit as GM at DIY Network is Chad Youngblood. Another respected programmer within SNI, Youngblood served as senior vice president and general manager of Fine Living Network from 2005-2010 before Scripps rebranded that network as the Cooking Channel. During his tenure, Fine Living Network doubled in distribution and ratings and brokered unprecedented business and marketing partnerships with NBC, Martha Stewart, Money, Forbes and Esquire magazines. Prior to his time at Fine Living Network, Youngblood was vice president of on-air promotion and production for HGTV. Most recently, he has served as senior vice president of Home Category initiatives for Scripps Networks Interactive, responsible for developing and launching new branded initiatives HGTV and DIY Network, and Scripps Networks Digital in the areas of crafting, gardening and social media.

In his new role as GM at DIY Network, Youngblood will be responsible for supervising all departments including programming, creative services and marketing. In addition, Youngblood will work closely with HGTV to bring about greater collaboration between the two networks.

"Scripps Networks has long been recognized for its highly engaging, original content. We are fortunate to have great bench strength to draw from as we grow these networks and further establish our dominance in the home, food and travel categories," Lansing said.

About Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI) is a leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television, the Internet and emerging platforms, where on-air programming complements online video, social media areas and e-commerce components on companion Web sites and broadband vertical channels. The company's lifestyle media portfolio comprises popular lifestyle television and Internet brands HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and country music network Great American Country. Scripps Networks Interactive is based in Knoxville, Tenn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco, Nashville, Tenn. and Chevy Chase, Md.

High Resolution photos:

Andy Singer, GM, Travel Channel: http://mms.businesswire.com/bwapps/mediaserver/ViewMedia?mgid=286686&vid=5&download=1

Ross Babbit, SVP, programming and production, Travel Channel: http://mms.businesswire.com/bwapps/mediaserver/ViewMedia?mgid=286687&vid=5&download=1

Chad Youngblood, GM, DIY Network: http://newsroom.scrippsnetworks.com/images/10003/DIY_Images/Chad%20Youngblood_fav_2009_1485_2356.jpg

Source: Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps Networks Interactive
Cindy McConkey, 865-560-3853

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