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Some New Faces Behind the Scenes at Food Network and Scripps
Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | posted by Mike

All right, maybe personnel changes aren't really that interesting to the readers of this site. But that's OK. I'm going to keep running them, because I'm certain that it's a career highlight for these folks to be mentioned on TV Food Fan.

A couple of new additions to the staffs at Food Network and its parent company, Scripps Networks, were announced over the past few days. I'm guessing that it may have been timed to coincide with the upfronts I mentioned last week. The big one for FN fans is the naming of Sergi Kuharsky as general manager of Food Network. According to a Broadcasting & Cable article, "Kuharsky will participate in the daily operations of the network as well as focusing on new business development."

Kuharsky comes to the Network from In Demand, where he was the Executive Vice President of sales and marketing. A piece over at TVWeek gives some background about a couple of his projects while at In Demand:

While there he led many initiatives including INHD, a suite of linear high-definition networks; "Howard Stern on Demand"; and the Emmy Award-winning "NASCAR In-Car," cable's first interactive subscription sports package.

The interactive parts should interest FN fans the most. How about an interactive version of some of your favorite FN shows that allow you to cook along with the host, pausing as necessary and even being able to get hints on how to salvage your bungled attempt at a souffle? Or, something as simple as multiple camera angles? Fun stuff, potentially, and a step in the right direction when you consider the fact that audiences are more and more used to being active participants in the media they consume.

Another new addition to the Scripps family is Deanna Brown, who will become the president of the Scripps Network Interactive Group. Why is this an important position? According to the press release put out by Scripps:

Scripps Networks flagship brands, HGTV and Food Network, are not only popular television networks, but also are the leading Web sites in the home and food genres. The robust interactive properties created by Scripps, which include a dozen broadband channels focused on topics such as kitchen, bath design, gardening, crafts and healthy eating, attracted an average of more than 13 million unique visitors per month in 2006.



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