Exec behind Food Network success to guide Shop At Home for Scripps
Mon, January 12, 2004 by Mark Kroeger
CINCINNATI – Judy Girard, an experienced television executive who led Food Network to TV prominence and success, has been chosen by The E. W. Scripps Company to guide its emerging television commerce strategy at the Shop At Home Network.Girard, 57, has been named president of Shop At Home, effective immediately. She will continue to serve as president of the Food Network. The company expects to name a successor at the Food Network at a later date. Girard has been president of the Food Network since 2000.Shop At Home and the Food Network are both operated by Scripps. The company also operates Home & Garden Television, the DIY – Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living. Shop At Home, which markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers and visitors to the Shop At Home Web site, shopathometv.com, was acquired by Scripps in October 2002. Girard succeeds Frank Woods, who, concurrent with Girard’s appointment, becomes chairman of Shop At Home. Woods, 63, was chief executive officer of the network when it was acquired by Scripps. He will be working closely with Girard in the day-to-day operation of Shop At Home and in contributing to its strategic development as part of the growing portfolio of Scripps national television networks.“Judy Girard is an exceptional executive who has a keen understanding of what it takes for a television enterprise to be successful,” said Kenneth W. Lowe, president and chief executive officer for Scripps. “She literally has worked wonders at the Food Network, guiding its transformation into a mainstay of popular American culture. Her dual role as president of both Shop At Home and Food will help us expedite, both operationally and strategically, our vision to create an innovative video commerce alternative at Shop At Home that’s built around our popular lifestyle networks.”Referring to Woods’ appointment, Lowe said, “Frank has and will continue to play a crucial role in Shop At Home’s ongoing transition. We will continue to tap and benefit from his extensive knowledge and experience in the television retailing business as we bring our TV commerce strategy into focus.” Woods was named president of Shop At Home in November 2002 shortly after the business was acquired by Scripps. Before his appointment as president, he had served as co-chief executive officer for Shop At Home and chairman of the network’s executive committee. His involvement with Shop At Home dates to 1993 when the merchant banking firm he operated at the time arranged a restructuring of Shop At Home’s ownership. He started in the media business as a senior officer for LIN Broadcasting Corp. and has been an owner and executive officer in a number of radio station, television, and entertainment companies. Woods is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Law School.The Food Network, under Girard’s direction, has successfully redefined the television food genre, approaching the category with a growing variety of popular lifestyle and entertainment programs. Programming hits such as Iron Chef, Unwrapped and The Naked Chef, to name just three, have strengthened the network’s programming schedule during Girard’s tenure. Since being named president of the Food Network, total day and prime time day parts achieved total viewership gains of 150 and 123 percent, respectively. Distribution of the network has grown from 45 to 83 million households during the same period.Girard, who has more than 25 years of television experience, joined Scripps in 1998 as senior vice president for programming and content development for Scripps Networks. Before joining Scripps, she served as senior vice president of programming for Americast, a joint venture between Disney, BellSouth, SBC Communications, Ameritech and GTE Corp. At Ameritech, Girard worked with Disney and the other joint venture partners to build a programming entity. Prior to Americast, Girard was senior vice president, programming and production, for Lifetime network, launching “Intimate Portrait” and developing a monthly movie franchise, Lifetime Original Movie, which included the highly successful, “Almost Golden; The Jessica Savitch Story.”She also has served as vice president of programming for WNBC-TV in New York City and vice president of program development for the NBC owned-and-operated television stations. She was instrumental in developing successful syndication partnerships between Multimedia Entertainment talk shows such as “Phil Donahue” and “Sally Jessy Raphael” at the NBC-owned stations.Girard has a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film from Ithaca College.The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, national television networks, interactive media and television-retailing. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast TV stations, four cable and satellite television programming services and a television retailing network. All of the company’s media businesses provide content and advertising services via the Internet.Scripps Networks brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, DIY -- Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living. HGTV reaches about 84 million U.S. television households and Food Network can be seen in about 83 million households. Scripps Networks Web sites include FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com, DIYnetwork.com and fineliving.com. Scripps Networks programming can be seen in 33 countries. The company’s home shopping subsidiary, Shop At Home Network, markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers and visitors to the Shop At Home Web site, shopathometv.com. Shop At Home reaches about 45 million full-time equivalent U.S. households.Scripps also operates Scripps Howard News Service and United Media, which is the worldwide licensing and syndication home of PEANUTS and DILBERT.