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Scripps Networks Interactive - Home Grown in Tennessee


Home Grown in East Tennessee: Scripps Networks Interactive


Click here to watch the story on WBIR-TV​

Whether you house hunt, cook, travel, love country, or do it yourself, Scripps Networks Interactive has a show for you.
"Our major networks are served into about 100 million households in the U.S.," says Scripps Networks Interactive President and C.E.O.
That's about a third of the US population. The company's coined the brand, "Lifestyle Media" which includes not only television, but also internet, magazines, social media and mobile devices.
"Our brands travel with consumers."
"It's exciting when you think about how far we've come. I would love to tell you all of this was in the early plans."
But in 1994, the plan was just something called HGTV and it took root in East Tennessee.
"In some ways, Knoxville was kind of in the stars. It was fate when you look back."
Parent company EW Scripps was already in the market and Ross Bagwell and his Cinetel Productions Company were producing cable programming.
"Quite frankly a lot of programming we wanted on HGTV."
So, Scripps bought it. However, back then, the idea of a female targeted channel wasn't an easy sell.
"I know that sounds strange, but it was almost 20 years ago. It was pretty much just a guys' business."
However, with each show, the cable industry began to take notice, even though it questioned the companies' headquarters.
"We would get those blank stares, or, 'Why Knoxville?' 'Where's that?'"
Then, Scripps acquired the Food Network and the vision blossomed. Now, two decades, six networks and hundreds of hours of new programming a year later, Scripps is a cable leader. The company employees more than 2,200 people around the globe.
"This business brings in over $2 billion a year in revenue and is worth somewhere around $9 or $10 billion in total value, so it's a big business."
The most bankable program? Well, that's a toss up between HGTV's "House Hunters" and Food Network's "Iron Chef" and "Chopped."
"Of course, all of the chefs that do Food Network become household names."
And, the networks' shows have produced spin off products from furniture, rugs and paint to wine, cookware and cookbooks.
"When we ask the question 'what's next?' it's more about how do we keep evolving."
For example, Food Network has cooked it's way into ballparks and now airports thanks to Scripps' cafe concept.
It's a brand that resonates with the entire family.
"There's no violence. There's no profanity. A lot of people say, 'Oh, I like to watch your programming with my son or daughter.' We're very proud to be a company based in middle America."
Born in Knoxville, HomeGrown in Tennessee.
"This is a great place to work, an even better place to live."