Brooke Johnson named president of Food Network
Tue, April 27, 2004 by Mark Kroeger
NEW YORK – – Scripps Networks has named Brooke Johnson, a 25-year veteran of cable television, as the next president of Food Network. Johnson, who joined Food Network in May 2003 as Senior Vice President and General Manager, succeeds Judy Girard, who earlier this year was tapped to head Scripps Networks’ newest endeavor, Shop At Home Network. “Since joining Food Network, Brooke has worked closely with Judy Girard to build on the strengths of the brand and to attract new viewers to the network,” Scripps Networks Executive Vice President John Lansing said in making the announcement. “This move not only allows Judy to devote her full attention to her new duties as President of Shop At Home Network, but also provides continuity as Food Network continues to grow.”Lansing said Johnson will focus on programming and new business development for Food Network as well as managing the network’s relationships with other Scripps Networks brands, which also include HGTV, DIY-Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living. Johnson, who earned recognition as Cable Marketer of the Year in 1999 while managing the day-to-day operation of A&E Network, will be counted on to create new strategies to ensure the future growth of the Food Network franchise, Lansing added.“Judy Girard and the team she assembled are responsible for transforming Food Network from a ‘stand and stir’ channel to one of the hottest networks in television. We are fortunate to have someone with Brooke Johnson’s unique combination of experience and instincts to take up where Judy is leaving off at Food Network,” Lansing said. Johnson has made an impact at Food Network in the first year of her arrival, capitalizing on the popular “In The Kitchen” block during fringe and weekend daytime while also making critical adjustments to the primetime schedule of the network. She also engineered the development of Food Network’s new “Iron Chef America” stunt just launched.Prior to joining Food Network, Johnson played a key role in the success of A&E and THE HISTORY CHANNEL. It was she who proposed the original concept for HISTORY CHANNEL and crafted the programming strategy. Directed to cable MSO’s, that strategy resulted in the most successful new network launch of the mid-90s and a distribution base of over 50M subs. Prior to that, she guided A&E from a .5 rating to a 1.5 rating within a 10-year period, taking the network from a little known specialty channel to a top ten network in both ratings and brand awareness.In her early years of television, Johnson was Program Director for WABC-TV in New York City, where she launched first locally and then into national syndication LIVE WITH REGIS AND KATHIE LEE. She served in several capacities at WLS-TV, ABC’s Chicago station, including Executive Producer of AM CHICAGO and Asst. Program Director.“This is an exciting time to be at Food Network,” Johnson said. “Now that we are fully distributed, we have a tremendous opportunity to grow our viewership. In addition, Food Network is perfectly positioned – particularly with the innovation and depth of Scripps Networks behind us – to engage viewers in the emerging digital technologies through creative applications on FoodNetwork.com, VOD and broadband.”Girard, who transitions full-time to Shop At Home Network after six years at the helm of Food Network, said she couldn’t be happier with the selection of her successor.“Brooke knows this industry inside out and she really understands our viewers.” Girard said. “Our people have confidence in her, and so do I.”About Food NetworkFOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network and website that strives to surprise and engage its viewers with likable hosts, personalities, and the variety of things they do with food. The network is committed to exploring new, different, and interesting ways to approach food - through pop culture, adventure, travel - while also expanding its repertoire of technique-based information. Distributed to more than 85 million U.S. households and five million website users, Food Network ranks first among ad-supported cable networks on year-to year subscriber growth and first among food websites. With headquarters in New York City and offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Knoxville, Food Network can be seen internationally in Canada, Australia, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Monaco, Andorra, Africa, France, and the French-speaking territories in the Caribbean and Polynesia. The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:SSP), which also owns and operates Home & Garden Television Network (hgtv.com), Do It Yourself (diynetwork.com), and Fine Living (fineliving.com), is the manager and general partner.