Scripps Interactive fills key int’l position

HGTV prexy Jim Samples will oversee distribution abroad

Scripps Networks Interactive has upped HGTV prexy Jim Samples to head up its international division, Scripps Networks International.

At the UBS media confab in New York last week, company topper Ken Lowe said distribution abroad repped a largely untapped resource for SNI; given Samples’ success with HGTV (which has sustained both advertising and viewership despite a precipitous decline in the housing market), it makes sense for Samples to succeed Greg Moyer in the role. Moyer is being shifted out of the day-to-day at the group and will work as a consultant.

The television conglom has also upped Bob Baskerville to Chief Operating Officer of the international division. Previously he served as general manager, and will now oversee all day-to-day operations for the group’s businesses. Samples will report to Joseph NeCastro, CFO and administrative officer of SNI.

Scripps has much to gain by strengthening management at its international arm; its recent acquisition of a 50% stake in UKTV has provided the company with a distribution platform in Europe. “It puts us at the table with BBC Worldwide (UKTV’s other owner), and it opens the door not only to the rest of Europe but to the rest of the world,” Lowe said of the acquisition during the UBS conference. “It’s a way to … move more of our content into international communities.”

He added that the company was seeking ways to monetize its formats and trying to learn which of those would appeal most to overseas auds.