Scripps Networks appoints Girard to head HGTV
Mon, October 24, 2005 by Cindy McConkey
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (For Release, October 24, 2005) – Judy Girard, an experienced television executive who led Food Network to prominence and most recently guided the retooling of the Shop At Home electronic commerce network, has been named president of HGTV, the flagship brand of Scripps Networks.Girard, 59, will succeed Burton Jablin, who earlier this year was promoted to executive vice president of Scripps Networks, overseeing all programming and content for the company. Girard’s appointment as president of HGTV is effective November 14, 2005.HGTV is the largest of the Scripps Networks brands, with about 90 million household subscribers and 5 million monthly visitors to its Web site, HGTV.com. Scripps, the leading developer of lifestyle programming for television and the Internet, also owns Food Network, Shop At Home, DIY Network, FINE LIVING and Great American Country.“We are so fortunate to have an executive with Judy Girard’s experience and keen understanding of our industry to take the reins of one America’s most successful television networks,” said John Lansing, president of Scripps Networks. “Like Burton Jablin, Judy knows how to create lifestyle programming that viewers love. HGTV has been a great success story, showing solid growth every year for about a decade. The network has become a solid top 15 performer in key demographics, and under Judy's guidance we expect to see it break into the top 10.” Girard, who has more than 25 years of television experience, joined Scripps in 1998. Under her leadership Food Network 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 a few, anchored the network’s programming schedule during Girard’s tenure. During that time, total day and prime time day parts at Food Network achieved total viewership gains of 150 and 123 percent, respectively. Distribution of the network also grew significantly, adding more than 40 million subscribers. Today Food Network’s distribution is at 87 million households.In January 2004, Scripps selected Girard to head up the integration of its then newly acquired electronic commerce network, Shop At Home.“Judy did exactly what we depended on her to do at Shop At Home,” said Ken Lowe, president and chief executive officer of The E.W. Scripps Company, the parent firm of Scripps Networks. “She has dramatically improved the quality and presentation of the programming and she has successfully integrated our lifestyle brands and on-air talent into this electronic retailing environment.”Shop At Home markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers and visitors to the Shop At Home Web site, shopathometv.com. It also manages the online stores for several of the lifestyle brands, HGTV, Food Network and DIY Network. During the last 22 months, Shop At Home has seen significant growth in some of its key lifestyle-oriented categories, including home products and home accessories, kitchen and crafting. As part of that effort, the network has featured on-air talent from the other Scripps brands, including Joan Steffend from HGTV; the grand dame of crafting, Carol Duvall, who appears on both HGTV and DIY Network; and most recently Food Network’s Emeril Lagasse. During the same period, Shop At Home’s distribution has grown from 45 million to about 53 million full-time equivalent U.S. households.Scripps expects to name Girard’s successor at Shop At Home in the next two weeks. As for Girard, she said she is looking forward to her new assignment.“HGTV is a well established, highly successful network with a very loyal following” Girard said. “The opportunity here is to broaden the brand and attract even more viewers. It should be a lot of fun.”Before joining Scripps, Girard 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. About the E.W. Scripps CompanyThe E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, electronic commerce, interactive media, and licensing and syndication. The company’s portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living, Great American Country and HGTVPro; daily and community newspapers in 18 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics; Shop At Home, which markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers in roughly 55 million U.S. households; and Shopzilla, the online comparison shopping service that carries an index of more than 30 million products from approximately 55,000 merchants.