Scripps Promotes Burton Jablin, Kathleen Finch

In an effort to coordinate its linear network and digital operations, Scripps Network Interactive has promoted veteran executives Burton Jablin and Kathleen Finch, the company said Thursday.

Jablin, currently Scripps Networks president, will take over the Chief Operating Officer role for Scripps Networks Interactive, overseeing sales, distribution, programming, digital and strategic planning for the company.

“As one of the original founders of HGTV, and as someone who has played a key role in building our wider business for more than 20 years, Burton is ideally experienced to take on this expanded role,” said Scripps Networks Interactive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth W. Lowe, to whom Jablin will report.

Finch, currently President of HGTV, DIY Network and Great American Country, has been appointed Chief Programming, Content & Brand Officer, and will take overall responsibility for content across all Scripps’ owned networks including Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel.  Finch will report to Jablin, according to the company.

“Kathleen has proven her creative acumen through strengthening HGTV’s position as a must-have network in the United States, with 14 months of consecutive growth and a 10 percent year-on-year ratings increase,” Jablin said. “I look forward to her working with teams across all of our brands to further solidify Scripps Networks’ position as the leader in lifestyle content development.”

The moves come on the heels of Food Network and Cooking Channel president Brooke Johnson’s announcement earlier this week that she will be retiring after more than 12 years leading the brand.

Scripps also announced that Travel Channel president Shannon O’Neill has been named managing director of Finance & operations for Scripps Networks Interactive’s U.S. Networks.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.