Scripps Creates Emerging Nets Group

Scripps Networks has created a new Emerging Networks group to help grow its two digital networks, Fine Living and DIY (Do-It-Yourself).

It has named Bob Baskerville to head the new group as president, reporting to Scripps Network Executive VP Burton Jablin, who oversees programming and content. Scripps is also moving diginet Fine Living from L.A. to its Knoxville headquarters to join the other diginet, DIY, where Baskerville has been president.

As part of the move, Chad Youngblood, VP of on-air promotions at Scripps' HGTV, has been named general manager of Fine Living. With Baskerville moving up, a GM of DIY is expected to be named within the next couple of weeks.

John MacDonald has been Fine Living GM, but he is not making the move from California. There has been no GM at DIY since Baskerville moved up to president from that post.

The move to L.A. will affect 15 to 20 Fine Living staffers, with only a couple making the move to Knoxville. "It is important to say how much we value the contributions these people have made in launching this brand," says Cindy McConkey, senior VP of communications. "Their energy and creativity infused the network with an entrepreneurial approach that allowed Fine Living to try some new things that might not have developed under the shadow of our more established networks. Now, as the network breaks past the 30-million household milestone, Fine Living will benefit from being in the heart of our operations, where we will be able to fully leverage all of our resources to support the network's growth.

Not all those L.A. positions will be replaced, but some will be added "to make sure both networks wil have the resources they need," says McConkey.

Parts of the organization will be "matrixed," she said, which means that execs like Robin Ulrich, senior VP, DIY, will be senior VP, marketing, for both networks.

There are no immediate plans to grow the digital network group, says McConkey, who adds that the move was primarily focused on growing the existing nets.

DIY reaches about 35 million households and Fine Living almost 30 million.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.