Scripps Networks launches new online network

Thu, January 13, 2005 by Carol Evans

Knoxville, TN (January 10, 2005) --- Scripps Networks continues to pioneer the delivery of shelter-related information with the launch January 12 of the first video-rich, online network for the building industry, HGTVPro.com.HGTVPro is a decade-old dream of Ken Lowe, Home & Garden Television founder and now president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company, parent of Scripps Networks. Shortly after the successful launch of HGTV, Lowe saw the opportunity to bring professional-grade information to those in the building industry and to do it with the same visual impact characteristic of Scripps’ popular television networks - Home & Garden Television, Food Network, DIY Network, and FINE LIVING, as well as electronic retailer Shop At Home and county music network Great American Country (GAC). It is a vision that can be realized now with the advances in technology.“The broadband technology of today lets us deliver information to the building trades in a way it could not be done before. Rich video content allows HGTVPro to bridge communications gaps by providing information visually – the way most people learn best,” explains Lowe. The content of the informational, online network has been developed with professional builders, remodelers and contractors in mind. It includes professional-level best practices, tips and techniques of the industry, new product information, and an insider’s perspective on trends in the industry. The majority of the information is delivered in both video and downloadable print formats, making it easy to understand and to use.HGTVPro launches with more than 100 videos and articles available, with plans to add to and refresh the content regularly. Spanish-language versions of many of the elements will be added by mid-year. A companion HGTVPro e-newsletter will be distributed bi-monthly free to opt-in subscribers. More than 100,000 building trade professionals and 500,000 home enthusiasts have already registered to receive the newsletter.Two unique features of HGTVPro showcase the advantage of the full integration of video. The “Virtual Trade Show” will be a year-round, online trade show comprised of three minute video booth tours from the industry’s largest trade shows, including the International Builders Show and the National Kitchen and Bath Show. It offers the HGTVPro user the advantage of touring a number of different trade shows and accessing hundreds of manufacturers and distributors on one site. “Contractor Stories” allow the HGTVPro visitors to sit in on refreshingly open roundtable conversations among contractors. Unrehearsed and unscripted, “Contractors Stories” creates an online community for builders, allowing them to learn from each other’s experiences. HGTVPro’s content is based upon the experiences and expertise of both industry experts and real builders and contractors. The editorial team is led by industry veteran Bill Crosby. The video segments are hosted by professional builders, including DIY Network hosts Fuad Reveiz, former professional football player and now owner of a successful custom home construction firm in Tennessee, and Ed Del Grande, a triple master plumber and self-employed contractor with more than 20 years of experience in the construction business.Strong partnerships with National Association of Home Builders, the country’s largest building industry organization, and Build IQ, the preeminent think tank for best building practices, back up the HGTVPro.com commitment to deliver information relevant to the trades. While HGTVPro is designed for contractors, builders and remodelers, HGTVPro Senior Vice President Jim Zarchin anticipates the site will be popular with the more highly skilled do-it-yourselfers, a group he terms the “prosumer”. “HGTVPro provides ‘prosumers’ a high level of information before they undertake a building or remodeling project and gives them the tools to more confidently communicate with their builder or remodeler,” Zarchin says. “While it is a site for pros by pros, it still allows prosumers to ‘peek over the fence’ and better understand their builder’s world.” Scripps Networks’ launch of an online network reflects both the company’s expertise in delivering information visually and its success with existing websites. Scripps Networks has more than 8 million unique visitors to its combined websites every month, and 8.5 million on-line newsletter subscribers. Scripps Networks’ combined sites were the #1 property in the Home & Fashion category according to NetRatings in December 2004, beating out eBay Home and eBay Clothing, Shoes and Accessories. This represents a first for the Scripps Networks websites since being included in the Home & Fashion category in January 2004. About Scripps NetworksScripps Networks is the leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet, where on-air programming is complemented with online content. The Networks include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, DIY Network, and FINE LIVING, as well as electronic retailer Shop At Home and county music network Great American Country (GAC). 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. It also is distributed to 1,000 outlets on U.S. military bases and U.S. embassies around the world via the American 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.