James to Head HGTV Programming Group

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Scripps Networks veteran Freddy James Monday was named to lead the network’s programming team as senior vice president of program development and production.

Effective immediately, James’ previous post as vice president/site director at HGTV.com will be filled by Jillian St. Charles, who was formerly site director at FineLiving.com.

James will work closely with HGTV president Jim Samples to provide strategic and creative direction for the network’s programming content, including identifying new opportunities and genres, and supervising the development and production of new series and specials. St. Charles, who will report to Jody Jones, senior vice president, SN Digital, will manage the user content experience on HGTV.com. Both will be based in the company’s Knoxville, Tenn., headquarters. 

“Freddy James has the right combination of experience, proven successes, creativity, fresh perspective and energy that HGTV will need to expand its programming portfolio,” Samples said in a prepared statement. “His clarity of vision for the network’s future programming is perfectly balanced with his understanding of the HGTV brand and the network’s relationship with our loyal viewers. He is the right person to lead the programming team and spearhead development of innovative programming concepts for HGTV.”

James joined HGTV 12 years ago as an associate producer before transitioning to Scripps Productions, where he produced special programming for both Food Network and HGTV including White House Christmas and the Tournament of Roses Parade. He later accepted a position at DIY Network as a programming director and then achieved a promotion to vice president.

He returned to HGTV earlier this year as the HGTV.com site director, overseeing the daily operations and strategic direction of the web site, including a soon-to-launch site redesign. In this role, James directed the expansion of the immensely popular Rate My Space application which allows users to upload images of their rooms and get ratings or comments from other users.

During his tenure at DIY Network, James supervised the production of the Emmy-nominated Creative Juice. He also oversaw the production of such groundbreaking series as Sweat Equity, Cool Tools, Desperate Landscapes, and the hit show Blog Cabin. As vice president, he managed more than 400 hours of original programming produced for that network each year.  

James, who started his career as an editor and producer at WBIR-TV in Knoxville, holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee. He is also a graduate of the E.W. Scripps Leadership Institute and has served on the board of directors for the Dogwood House & Garden Show. 

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