Deanna Brown joined Scripps Networks just a few months ago to help grow its web business. However, one might ask how much help Scripps needs.
|Deanna Brown, president of Scripps Networks Interactive||Photo: Melissa Blemur|
The company had already upped its internet revenue by 41% in the first quarter over the same period in 2006. For full-year 2006, Scripps increased its web dollars by 60% over '05.
Scripps Networks' four lifestyle networks -- HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network and Fine Living -- were among the first cable networks to introduce broadband channels and to generate profits from online advertising.
So what exactly does Scripps want Ms. Brown to do with its web division? Well, you can never be too healthy. Like Food Network's signature chef Emeril Lagasse, Scripps intends to kick it up a notch. Ms. Brown's task is to mine more dollars from the internet as president of Scripps Networks Interactive. She's also responsible for mobile, video on demand, syndicated broadband video and download-to-own video.
Early last month, Scripps introduced two new social-media online initiatives for DIY and Fine Living. Social networking is drawing web ad dollars quickly, and Ms. Brown expects to work on more projects in that vein and also to explore mobile-TV offerings.
"We have very high expectations for what we want to do," says John Lansing, president of Scripps Networks.
"I happen to love to cook, so I have kind of nestled most of my career in interactive opportunities against lifestyle media, and food is a natural online in the lifestyle area," says Ms. Brown, 43.
She believes forward-looking vision is essential. "The stuff that works today will be outdated in six months," Ms. Brown says. That's why she'll be working on issues such as what the role of user-generated content is and how to engage viewers more deeply.