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Scripps Affiliate Sales Chief Plans Retirement

John Baird, Scripps Networks’ executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing, is retiring at the first of the year, the company said.

The lifestyle programmer has begun the search for a new head of affiliate sales.

Baird, who joined Scripps Networks in 2000, has played a key role in the distribution growth of HGTV and Food Network – both in about 95 million households – as well as the rapid rise of Scripps' emerging networks DIY, Fine Living and Great American Country. His affiliate sales team most recently has launched two HDTV networks, HGTV-HD and Food Network-HD.

Prior to joining Scripps, Baird held several positions with Showtime Network, where he created innovative sales models for Showtime's premium services.

Scripps Networks said it expects to name a replacement prior to Baird's departure in February 2008.