Thorkilsen joins Scripps Networks as Head of Business Development
Tue, January 11, 2005 by Cindy McConkey
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – (For Immediate Release, January 6, 2004) – Industry veteran Eric Thorkilsen, best known for developing successful multi-media business models including the Martha Stewart Living and This Old House brands, is joining Scripps Networks as Senior Vice President of Business Development, effective Jan. 17.Thorkilsen will be responsible for developing new business opportunities across all existing Scripps Networks media platforms, which include the popular lifestyle television networks HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, and Fine Living as well as electronic retailer Shop At Home and county music network Great American Country (GAC). Each of these networks also feature robust, companion Web sites that attract millions of unique viewers every month.“While growing our television networks remains a top priority, we also see great potential in the development of new businesses that will lead to the creation of new profit centers for our company,” said Scripps Networks President John Lansing. “Eric is a talented industry veteran who has proven his ability to build solid businesses through strategic brand extensions.”Thorkilsen comes to Scripps Networks from This Old House Ventures, where he built an entire business for Time Warner around the half-hour “This Old House” weekly television series. Under his direction, This Old House Ventures expanded into publishing, broadband, event marketing, direct sales, licensing, books and videos.Thorkilsen began his media industry career in the late 1970s, holding a variety of positions at TIME Magazine, Sports Illustrated and People Magazine. From 1990 to 1995, he served as Publisher and President of Martha Stewart Living with responsibility for all magazine, television, book, and product operations. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.“I have admired what Scripps Networks has done over the last ten years, first with HGTV, and then with the development of its other networks,” said Thorkilsen. “These are some of the most powerful brands in the shelter and food categories, which should provide great opportunities for organic growth from within Scripps Networks as well as potential for strategic acquisitions.”Working with Thorkilsen at Scripps Networks will be Cherie Oswald, who will move from her current position in the Scripps Networks Finance Department to become Vice President of Business Development. Since joining the company four years ago, Oswald’s primary focus has been strategic planning. She will remain in Knoxville, while Thorkilsen will be based in the company’s New York office. Scripps is the leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet, where on-air programming is complemented with online content. In addition, Scripps Networks is aggressively developing its emerging media, including video on demand, broadband and Hispanic programming. Scripps Networks’ brands collectively are available in more than 95 countries on six continents. They also are distributed to 1,000 outlets on U.S. military bases and U.S. embassies around the world via the American Armed Forces Radio and Television Service. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Nashville, and Englewood, Colo., Scripps Networks is owned by The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:SSP), 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, Scripps Howard News Service and United Media.