News

Scripps Marshals Its Forces

4/18/2004 8:00 PM Eastern

Looking to bolster its licensing and commerce businesses, Scripps Networks has enlisted Food Network vice president of marketing Adam Rockmore to spearhead initiatives for all five of its cable services.

In the newly created position of senior vice president of marketing and interactive commerce for Shop At Home Network, Rockmore will work with the shopping service’s chief merchandising officer Mike Lubka and Ron Feinbaum, general manager of Scripps Online Division, to build a broader Web commerce businesses for SATHtv.com.

WEB SITE INTEGRATION

The plan also calls for that site to integrate the programmer’s existing Web sites: HGTV.com, FoodNetwork.com, DIYnetwork.com and FineLiving.com. Twelve to 18 months later, Scripps is also eyeing a staged rollout of a freshly designed Shop at Home site.

Rockmore and Feinbaum will oversee a restructured Shop At Home Internet Group, including vice president of Internet content Fred Bergman and his staff. Additionally, the group will be aided by a cross-divisional team, pooling the acumen of Scripps United Media division senior vice president and CTO Bobby Chowdhury; managing director of Scripps IT operation Bryan Allen; Scripps Networks vice president of information technology Ron Johnson; and Shop at Home senior vice president and chief information officer Wayne Lambert.

CROSSPOLLINATION

“The company has spent a lot of money on Shop at Home and envisions a crosspollination of resources that can drive all of the networks’ business,” said Rockmore.

The strategy for Shop At Home, which now counts 47 million full-time equivalent subs, arises from the absence of any on-air product placement by Scripps services. Rockmore said the other four Scripps networks “all have very passionate viewers who are interested in our on-air talent and the products that they use. We believe that working with our talent we can develop an array of products that will hold vast lifestyle appeal. And ultimately, we want to make Shop At Home the nexus of commerce for all our businesses.”

In the meantime, Rockmore will develop greater merchandising opportunities in much the same way he has fashioned them for Food over the past three years.

Rockmore said that at any given time, Food proffers between six and eight items, largely cookbooks from Food Network Kitchens, the service’s in-house production support unit, and DVDs encompassing several series episodes and bonus footage, recipes and question-and-answer sessions with network talent.

“We have the 'Q & Ray’ with Rachel Ray,” said Rockmore of the star of 30-Minute Meals and $40 A Day. Product offerings are touted on air.

At Food, Shop At Home and Food Network president Judy Girard reported that the latter’s Web site garnered more than a 300% increase in merchandise sales in 2003, while Rockmore put sales in the “millions of dollars over the last three years.”

Some upcoming merchandising programs at Food center on Iron Chef America (T-shirts, aprons, mugs, shot glasses), Unwrapped (a daily factoid calendar) and a 2005 cooking calendar from Food Networks Kitchens.

UNITED EFFORTS

Rockmore said he would be working closely with sister company Scripps United Media, which handles licensing for Peanuts, Cathy and Dilbert, to develop a series of products around shows and talent from HGTV, Fine Living and DIY. In the later instance, Rockmore envisions capitalizing on scrapbooking, an increasing popular pastime.

Rockmore also noted that viewers can expect to see more segments on Shop At Home hosted by Scripps talent in the months ahead. To date, Gordon Elliott (Fine Living’s Genuine Article) led last October’s four-day Shop At Home Live from High Point, from the international furniture show in North Carolina, while Food Networks Kitchens personnel have also helped sell product.

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