Food Network President Eric Ober joins Scripps new media efforts

Wed, January 19, 2000 by Mark Kroeger

NEW YORK -- Eric Ober, the Food Network's president and general manager, will be taking on new duties at The E.W. Scripps Company, which owns 64 percent of Food, focusing on the development of video content for new media applications. In his new assignment, he will be working closely with Frank Gardner, senior vice president of Scripps.Judy Girard will become senior vice president and general manager of Food, succeeding Ober as head of the network.Ober completely and successfully repositioned Scripps Productions, then went on to Food, where he helped build the network into one of the fastest-growing channels on cable television. Now he has been recruited to work for our parent company to focus on the all-important area of video content for new media applications,'' said Ken Lowe, president and CEO of Scripps Networks.Judy Girard has played a critical role in the amazing success of the Food Network,'' Lowe continued. She has worked closely with Eric in developing popular new programming and in turning the Food Network into one of the cable industry's most recognizable brands. She will be an outstanding leader as we continue to build on the momentum we've achieved over the last several years.''Ober will remain at Food through the end of the month, at which time Girard will officially become head of the network.Running the Food Network has been extremely rewarding, successful and fun, but the opportunity to join Frank in this exciting initiative was something I just couldn't pass up,'' Ober said. I am proud of the tremendous growth and success we've had at Food over the past 14 months, including significant increases in ratings and subscribers, our great new space at Chelsea Market and a virtually unlimited new Web site. Now, I look forward to taking advantage of the unique opportunities that lie ahead.''Built on a strong foundation of exciting, fresh and unique programming, the Food Network has clearly struck a chord with millions of loyal viewers,'' Girard said. ``The success we have achieved is just a beginning, and I am thrilled to be in a position to shape this network's very bright future with an amazing team of talented and dedicated professionals.''Girard, a proven television executive with more than 25 years of broad industry experience, joined Scripps Networks in 1998 as senior vice president, programming and content development. She has spent the past year working closely with Ober at the Food Network. Prior to coming to Scripps, Girard held senior management positions at Americast (a joint venture of Disney, Bell South, SBC Communications, Ameritech and GTE Corp), Lifetime, NBC and New York's NBC affiliate, WNBC-TV.Ober joined Scripps in 1997 as president and general manager of Scripps Productions. For the past 14 months he has served as president and general manager of the Scripps-owned Food Network, during a period of dramatic expansion. From 1990 to 1996, Ober was president of CBS News, responsible for a worldwide network news operation with more than 1,000 employees. Before that, he ran the CBS owned and operated television station group, which included stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Miami.About The Food NetworkFOOD NETWORK (http://www.foodtv.com) is the nation's only 24-hour cable television network dedicated to good food and good times. With headquarters in New York City and offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Knoxville, FOOD NETWORK is distributed to more than 44 million U.S. households. Internationally, FOOD NETWORK programming is seen in Canada, Australia and the Philippines. The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP - news) which also owns and operatesHome & Garden Television Network (HGTV) and Do It Yourself (DIY), is the managing general partner.