Laureen Ong will step down as president of the Travel Channel at the end of the month, the network announced Friday.
Ong, who has served in the position for more than three years, oversaw the network’s transition to Scripps Network Interactive after the company acquired a majority interest in Travel from Cox Communications in 2009.
“I feel my mission at Travel Channel is complete,” Ong said in a statement. “I came here to help transition Travel Channel into the Scripps family of lifestyle brands, put together a great leadership and creative team, and position the network for unprecedented growth. With those objectives accomplished, I’m looking forward to Travel Channel’s continuing evolution into a uniquely defined and competitively powerful lifestyle television brand.”
Ong joined Travel in 2010 and is credited with significantly expanding the network’s programming schedule, while greenlighting network franchises Hotel Impossible, Monumental Mysteries and Airport 24/7: Miami. The network averaged 467,000 primetime viewers during third quarter 2013, an increase of 1% over the same period last year.
Scripps Networks president Burton Jablin, who last month moved up to that role upon John Lansing's departure, will oversee the network’s operations and development on an interim basis while the network searches for Ong's successor.
“With Laureen Ong at the helm, Travel Channel has made great strides toward redefining travel as a television genre and establishing Travel Channel as a premier lifestyle television brand,” said Jablin in a statement. “Laureen provided the right leadership at the right time that was needed to move Travel Channel in a new direction to enhance its value to media consumers, advertisers and content distributors.”