E.W. Scripps Co. agreed to shell out $49.95 million to buy a controlling
interest in Shop at Home.
The deal will make Scripps -- owner of Home & Garden Television, Food
Network, Do It Yourself and Fine Living -- a competitor to the likes of Barry
Diller's HSN, Comcast Corp.'s QVC and NBC's ShopNBC.
Scripps will pick up a 70 percent stake in Shop at Home, and it agreed to
loan Shop at Home $49.5 million to retire existing debt.
After the deal closes -- likely in the fourth quarter -- Shop at Home will
remain a public company.
Shop at Home is 16 years old, but the network is not profitable. It reported
a $7.7 million loss for the nine months ended March 31.
But Scripps executives said they think they can drive more business to the
home shopping channel by using the marketing muscle of their cable networks.
Scripps also plans to have talent from Scripps Networks shows pitch products
on Shop at Home.
The company said it won't add Shop at Home to its Scripps Networks division
-- rather, it will operate the home shopping network as a separate