Innovation Draws Costantini to Scripps


As a programming executive at Time Warner Cable, Lynne Costantini worked closely with Scripps Networks on initiatives such as video on demand. She found it to be an innovative company and liked its people.

Now Costantini, a veteran of the nation's second-largest operator, is jumping over to the other side of the business, from distributor to programmer, taking the job as Scripps Networks' executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing.

“I'm looking forward to working with my colleagues on the other side of the table, and I hope I bring a unique perspective and consultative approach to how we transact business and partner on new-business opportunities,” she said.

Costantini succeeds John Baird, who announced his retirement last September, effective this year.

“What attracted me to Scripps is the people, No. 1,” she said after her hiring was announced last week. “We've done a lot of great work together, and I've gotten to know a lot of the people and the culture over there. They helped us at Time Warner Cable invent VOD, and they're very innovative over there. That really attracted me to the company.”

She will join Scripps Networks, the E.W. Scripps cable unit that posted $1.2 billion in revenue last year, by April 1.

A former corporate lawyer, Costantini spent a decade at Time Warner Cable, where most recently she was senior vice president and chief business affairs officer. In that role, Costantini set the strategy for Time Warner's technology partnerships, commercial negotiations and other enterprise-wide initiatives.

She previously served as Time Warner's senior vice president for programming, working for the late executive vice president of programming Fred Dressler. Her role included helping to develop and set the direction of the company's content strategy, as well as negotiating multiplatform content deals.

The Knoxville, Tenn.-based programmer's lineup includes HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living Network and Great American Country. Those brands “really do resonate with the viewers and advertisers, and I think with distributors, as well,” Costantini said. “So it's the culture of innovation, it's the people, it's the brands that really sent me on my way to Scripps.”

Costantini thinks her biggest opportunity at Scripps “is to expand reach of the brands over multiple platforms — VOD or some other enhanced-TV experience.”

Scripps owns most of its programming, which also gives Costantini more flexibility to distribute it on additional platforms, she said.