Knoxville-based Scripps Networks Interactive is among three U.S. cable TV networks looking to buy a United Kingdom broadcaster, according to published reports.
The lifestyle media company is in the running to acquire the U.K’s Channel 5, according to a report by The Financial Times, which cited an unnamed source “familiar with the process.”
Cable networks Viacom and Discovery Channel also submitted bids by the Feb. 27 deadline, as did private equity group Saban Capital, according to the story published Friday by the British business news organization
The amount of the bids is unknown, but Channel 5 is reportedly seeking a price of $1.17 billion, according to Financial Times.
All of the bidders declined to comment, the Financial Times reported.
Scripps officials on Monday could not immediately be reached for comment.
Channel 5, a general entertainment broadcaster, launched in 1997. It was purchased in 2010 by English newspaper and magazine publisher Richard Desmond.
International expansion is a priority for Scripps Networks, which has invested heavily in building its global audience over the last several years. In 2012 it purchased the U.K.-based Travel Channel International Ltd.
Scripps Networks Chairman Ken Lowe said last month in a conference call with analysts that the Travel Channel audience in the United Kingdom increased 57 percent last year and said Scripps is making “steady progress” in expanding its presence in Russia, Poland, the Philippines and other international markets.
Scripps Networks also has in recent months made a number of executive appointments for its international operations. Last month, Kevin Chorlins,was named to the newly created role of senior vice president of international content and brand strategy.
Click here for the Financial Times report.
Click here for more from Variety.
Scripps Networks Interactive announced that John Burlingame will retire from the Knoxville-based lifestyle media company’s board of directors when his current term expires.
Burlingame’s retirement will mark the end of a lengthy corporate relationship with the Scripps family and the Scripps companies.
A retired partner in the law firm of Baker & Hostetler, Burlingame has been a director of Scripps Networks since 2008 when it was spun-off from The E.W. Scripps Co., the owner of 19 television stations and newspapers in 13 markets, including the Knoxville News Sentinel and the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Burlingame served as a director of E.W. Scripps for 24 years, retiring from the Cincinnati-based company’s board in 2012.
In addition, he had been a trustee of the Edward W. Scripps Trust since 1987. The family trust, which had controlled the company since 1922, terminated in October, 2012, and is in the process of winding up.
Scripps Networks portfolio includes the cable and Internet brands Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, and Great American Country.
Scripps Network Interactive has added another $1 billion to its share repurchase plan and boosted its quarterly dividend.
The Knoxville-based lifestyle media company’s board approved the extra billion for the buyback plan Thursday, a day before the company’s releases its quarterly financial report.
The billion dollars is on top of the $647 million remaining in the previous share repurchase authorization as of Dec. 31, 2013, the company said.
The board also approved a dividend payment of 20 cents, an increase from 15 cents. The dividend will be paid March 10 to shareholders of record on Feb. 28.
The company’s lifestyle media portfolio includes television and Internet brands HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country.
Shares of Scripps Networks shed 39 cents in Thursday trading to close at $77.44.
Scripps is expected to release its financial report before the market opens Friday.
Companies that know how to make money often attract interest from potential buyers. It’s happening again for Scripps Networks Interactive.
The purchase of the Knoxville-based lifestyle media company was discussed today at a meeting of the Discovery Communications board, according to a report on the Variety website.
Scripps Networks has been the subject of purchase gossip for some time.
Walt Disney, Time Warner and CBS have previously been mentioned as possible suitors.
“SNI’s holdings would be a natural fit with Discovery’s suite of lifestyle-driven cablers, which include the mothership channel, TLC, Animal Planet and OWN.
“Knoxville, Tenn.-based SNI has been seen as a prime acquisition target for some time. The company has valuable brands, particularly in Food Network and HGTV, but is small enough to be easily integrated into a larger conglom with cable programming assets. SNI has a market cap of about $11 billion, with the stock closing Tuesday at $75.26, up 52 cents,” Variety reports.
Click here for the Variety story.
Scripps Networks Interactive continued its international push today with the appointment of a media industry veteran as chief financial officer of the company’s global development arm.
Simone Nardi was named CFO for Scripps Networks International, the Knoxville-based lifestyle media announced.
Nardi, who previously was CFO for NBC Universal’s international operations, will report to Jim Samples, president of Scripps Networks International.
“With his strong background in media finance, and having spearheaded successful joint ventures, acquisitions and integrations, Simone will play an integral role as we expand our global operations and enter new and promising markets,” Samples said in a news release.
International expansion has been a priority for Scripps Networks Interactive in recent years. The company has invested heavily to expand its presence in the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, including the purchase of Travel Channel International in 2012 for more than $100 million.
At NBC Universal, Nardi developed and managed the financial, strategic and operational structure for its international channels and television productions, Scripps said.
Prior to that, he served as vice president and chief financial officer for NBC Universal’s business development division in New York. He also worked for the online video service Hulu and General Electric.
Nardi earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics and business administration from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, where he graduated summa cum laude.
Scripps Networks International operates Food Network and Travel Channel in Asia, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as well as the Asian Food Channel in Asia and Fine Living Network across EMEA.
Shares of Scripps Networks Interactive hit a 52 week high this week, just days after “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish” premiered on DIY Network, the Scripps home improvement cable channel.
Shares of the Knoxville-based lifestyle media company rose as high as $80.73 on Tuesday, before closing at $80.54 .
The stock had given back some of gain by mid day Wednesday, but SNI continues to trade well above the last closing price before the show’s Oct. 12 premiere.
Call it the “Ice Effect.”
In “Ice Goes Amish,” Robert Van Winkle, the rapper’s real name, lives and works with an Amish community in Ohio. The heavily tattooed reality TV star helps remodel a kitchen and build a barn, among other things.
Before you dismiss the power of the “Ice effect,” consider this:
Since Van Winkle’s first DIY show — the award winning “The Vanilla Ice Project” — premiered Oct. 14, 2010, Scripps shares have surged more than 70 percent.
Sure, other shows on other SNI cable channels have contributed to the company’s success. Scripps stable of celebrity chefs, gardeners and adventure travelers is plentiful.
But there is only one Ice.
Early reviews of the Van Winkle’s Amish adventure have been positive.
Here’s an excerpt from a review by Bloomberg Businessweek:
“Vanilla Ice Goes Amish isn’t so much an instructional show as it is a chance to watch a regular, 21st century person (who also happens to have dated Madonna) struggle with a stripped-down lifestyle. He doesn’t just renovate with the Amish, he dresses like they do, rides in their buggies, and farms with them, too. Clara Hershberger, the woman whose kitchen is remodeled in the first episode, is taken aback by Ice’s tattoos, piercings, and tendency to wear T-shirts emblazoned with his own name. The rapper tries to help her with the laundry but has no idea how to work the clothes wringer or hang things on the line outside to dry. “Celebrities never do their own laundry or anything?” Hershberger asks. Ice just laughs and shakes his head no. That’s one thing he won’t do himself. “
Click here for the full review.
Click here for “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish” videos
HGTV and DIY Network are enjoying “probably their best year ever, totally, not only in ratings but advertising as well,” Ken Lowe, Scripps Networks Interactive’s chairman, CEO and president, told CNBC today.
Lowe credited an improving housing market for the boosting all of the company’s lifestyle media channels.
“When you see people enjoying their homes and the housing market, feeling better and being better, then that just naturally allows our networks to flourish,” Lowe said.
Lowe was on CNBC to mark the 20th anniversary of the Food Channel.
“Who would have thought, right, a little network about how to boil water is now celebrating its 20th anniversary and over the years it’s really become a pop culture icon and started so many chefs down the path of becoming celebrities, if you will,” Lowe said.
Investors surely enjoy the company’s growth, if not the over abundance of celebrity chefs. SNI’s share price was trading around $78.45 by mid afternoon, up more than 32 percent for the year.
Scripps Networks portfolio of cable channels includes HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country
Click here for Lowe’s CNBC interview.
Scripps Networks Interactive is expanding its reach in the video world.
The Knoxville-based lifestyle media company announced Thursday the launch of ulive, an online video site and distribution platform. The site curates videos from Scripps cable networks — HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country.
In addition, ulive will offer more than 70 original video series featuring Scripps talent, social media stars and bloggers, according to a news release.
“With ulive we have created an online destination where anyone can enjoy entertaining and relevant videos for the way you live,” ulive President Jeff Meyer said in a statement. “It enables viewers to discover, watch and share what they love the most, across food, home, travel, parenting and wellness — and this is only the beginning of the site’s capabilities and content.”
Two of the new original series launched Thursday — “What Will the Maid Think?” from Bert Kreischer, host of The Travel Channel show Trip Flip and “Bonkers Awesome!” from food blogger Joy the Baker. Here’s what Zacks Equity Research has to say about ulive.
What’s in a name? A lot, if it’s on the Internet, says Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.
For the second time in recent weeks, the Knoxville-based lifestyle media company has lost an effort to control a top level domain name,
Scripps most recently lost a “legal rights objection” filed against Google for use of the .diy domain name, according to the trade publication Domain Name Wire.
Scripps owns the home improvement cable channel DIY Network and for obvious reasons would like to control the use of .diy on the Web.
However, the panel that rules on domain name disputes determined that DIY is a generic term and “it is in practice impossible to run a business in do-it-yourself products without using the letters DIY in a wholly generic, descriptive way…,” Domain Name Wire reported Monday.
Scripps previously lost a similar objection for use of the .food domain name.
The Food Network is another of Scripps popular cable channels.
The use of domain names is controlled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and applicants for top level domain names must follow UDRP — the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy.
Click here for more from Domain Name Wire.
Scripps Networks Interactive announced Thursday it would pay a quarterly dividend of 15 cents per share on Sept. 10, to shareholders of record on Aug. 30.That’s unchanged from the dividend paid the previous quarter.
Scripps Networks will report its second-quarter operating results before the market opens on Aug. 8. A conference call with analysts will follow at 10 a.m.
Scripps shares were down slightly in morning trading on Friday at $72.14, but are up more than 20 percent since the first of the year.
The Knoxville-based lifestyle media company’s portfolio includes cable channels HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Great American Country and related Internet brands.
Photo: Scripps Networks Interactive headquarters in West Knoxville.