Scripps Networks Interactive has shuffled leadership positions at two of its channels.
The lifestyle media company has named Andy Singer, who had been serving as general manager of DIY Network, the new head of programming for Travel Channel. Singer's spot at DIY is being filled by Ross Babbitt, who most recently had oversight for the service's programming partnerships, special projects and its growing arena of branded entertainment.
As senior vice president, programming and production development for Travel, Singer will oversee all aspects of the network's programming strategy, development and production, beginning Sept. 1.
Singer joined Scripps Networks in 2005, serving as head of DIY Network's programming for more than three years before being named general manager in 2010. During his tenure, Singer developed such home-improvement shows as The Vanilla Ice Project, Renovation Rookies, Yard Crashers, Man Caves and King of Dirt. He also commissioned DIY's groundbreaking series, Disaster House, and America's first interactive home renovation series, Run My Renovation.
Prior to joining Scripps, Singer was a show producer at VH1 and also produced programs for A&E, Twentieth Century Fox, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and nationally syndicated broadcast series Extra and Inside Edition.
"After working with Andy as part of the Scripps Networks Interactive family, I have come to really appreciate his creativity, passion for television and ability to turn a good idea into a must-see TV program - all assets that will prove invaluable in helping Travel Channel achieve its full potential as a powerhouse lifestyle media brand," said Travel president Laureen Ong in a statement. "We were fortunate to attract interest from some strong candidates, internal and external, and Andy stood head and shoulders above them."
Ong said Singer's immediate priorities to be the development of scalable, breakout programs and identifying engaging talent that will help make Travel Channel become more of a destination network. Fred Graver, who previously held the position, is focusing on special projects and maximizing key talent relationships.
Babbitt, who has been with DIY since 2004, is quite familiar with the service as he steps into its general manager position, where he will report to Burton Jablin, head of the home category at Scripps Networks.
Babbitt has spearheaded some of the brand's highest profile endeavors, including ongoing partnerships with The Walt Disney Co., EA Sports, NFL Network, MLB Network, Esquire magazine and 3M. He also created buzz-worthy programming stunts that raised DIY's profile, such as "Stud Finder Talent Contest," "Crash Across America" and the "Search for America's Most Desperate Landscape" in partnership with NBC's Today.
Before joining the Knoxville, Tenn.-headquartered programmer, whose portfolio also includes Food Network, HGTV, Cooking Channel and GAC, he produced breaking news and feature stories for The CBS Early Show in New York and worked as a writer, producer and director for Food, Comedy Central, ESPN, Lifetime, CBS News Productions and 20th Century Fox.
"We are truly fortunate to have the talent and depth of resources within the company that allow us to make this a seamless transition," noted John Lansing, president of Scripps. "We are confident that Andy and Ross, in their new, respective roles, will build on the momentum these two networks have going for them now help create new growth for these brands and our company in the future."
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