Scripps Networks President Ed Spray to retire, Exec. Vice President John Lansing to succeed him
Tue, August 10, 2004 by Tim Stautberg
CINCINNATI – Scripps Networks President Ed Spray, who was instrumental in the launch of Home & Garden Television (HGTV) ten years ago as a member of the network’s original executive management team, has told The E. W. Scripps Company that he will retire at the end of this year.John Lansing, who has been serving as executive vice president of Scripps Networks since January, will succeed Spray as president of Scripps Networks, effective Jan. 1, 2005.Scripps Networks, a division of The E. W. Scripps Company, operates HGTV, Food Network, the DIY – Do It Yourself Network, Fine Living, and Shop At Home Network. The division also operates some of the most popular Web sites in the home and life categories, including HGTV.com and FoodNetwork.com.Lansing, 46, a respected and proven television executive with an extensive background in news and entertainment programming, has been with Scripps for nine years. Since January, as executive vice president of Scripps Network, he has immersed himself in the cable television industry as he focused on the company’s ongoing strategy to strengthen and build on the success of its growing portfolio of national lifestyle television networks. He has worked closely with Spray and the top executives at all of the company’s networks to ensure the distinctiveness of each brand and to further improve programming production efficiencies.“John is a very thoughtful, smart, hard-working and focused individual who is good at sorting through issues and understanding the complexity of our business,” said Frank Gardner, senior vice president for The E.W. Scripps Company and chairman of Scripps Networks. “John’s appointment to president means full-steam ahead for Scripps Networks. The goal is a seamless transition ensuring continuity of style, purpose and direction.”Lansing will continue to work closely with the Scripps Networks executive management team and network presidents to increase the appeal of each of the brands among advertisers and viewers. Other priorities include leveraging the company’s investment in new media such as broadband and video on demand, and incorporating Shop At Home Network as an e-commerce extension of each of the lifestyle brands. Spray’s retirement on Dec. 31 will close an impressive 40-year career in television production, programming and management. During the last decade, Spray played a key role in the phenomenal growth of Scripps Networks from a single, niche cable network into a portfolio of national television brands and a division employing 1,700 people.“Scripps Networks is what it is today because of Ed’s hard work, rock-solid values and integrity, and professionalism,” said Gardner. “We’ll always be indebted to Ed for all he has done to help get us to this point.”When Spray joined HGTV as vice president of programming in 1994, he was among the original executive team hand-picked by HGTV founder and former president Kenneth W. Lowe, who today is president and chief executive officer of The E.W. Scripps Company. Spray became president of Scripps Networks in 2000 upon Lowe’s appointment to his current post.“Naming John Lansing as the successor to Ed Spray illustrates one of the greatest strengths of Scripps Networks during the past 10 years: a stability and a continuity of management and leadership at the highest levels of the company,” said Lowe. “This hallmark is what sets us apart from virtually all other cable network operations, and it has served us well. We’ve always been able to tap into the depth of internal talent to continue our growth and prosperity.”Before becoming executive vice president of Scripps Networks, Lansing had strategic and operating oversight responsibilities for the Scripps broadcast television station group, first as vice president of station operations and then as senior vice president/television.Before coming to the Scripps corporate office as vice president of station operations in 2000, Lansing had been vice president and general manager of the Scripps-owned television station in Cleveland, WEWS-TV, and vice president and station manager at the Scripps station in Detroit, WXYZ-TV. Lansing also held news-director positions at WBBM-TV, Chicago, and WCCO-TV in Minneapolis.Lansing studied marketing and business administration at Bellarmine College in Louisville, the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. He also serves as a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla. He is a member of the Scripps Howard Foundation board of trustees. About The E.W. Scripps Company and Scripps NetworksThe 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, 15 broadcast TV stations, four cable and satellite television programming networks 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 85 million U.S. television households and Food Network can be seen in about 84 million households. Scripps Networks Web sites include FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com, DIYnetwork.com and fineliving.com. Scripps Networks programming can be seen in 86 countries. The company’s television retailing 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 50 million full-time equivalent U.S. households, including 5 million households via five Scripps owned, Shop At Home affiliated broadcast television stations.Scripps also operates Scripps Howard News Service and United Media, which is the worldwide licensing and syndication home of PEANUTS and DILBERT.