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Scripps switches international chief

US channels operator Scripps Networks Interactive has appointed Jim Samples, president of cablenet HGTV, as head of its international division, replacing Greg Moyer.

Moyer has been president of Scripps’ international division for three years, overseeing major growth in Europe and Asia, but is now stepping down. He will continue to work with the company on a consultancy basis.

Samples will replace Moyer as international president, reporting to chief financial and administrative officer Joseph NeCastro.

Scripps has significantly expanded its Food Network and Fine Living Network channel brands around the world under Moyer’s guidance. He assembled the team that launched Food Network in the UK and Asia and oversaw this year’s £340m (US$553.5m) acquisition of the 50% stake in UKTV previously owned by Virgin Media. Attempts to break into India foundered last year, however, after a US$55m deal with NDTV Group came undone.

Samples arrived at Scripps in 2007 to head HGTV and the channel has since achieved double-digit audience growth. He previously worked for Turner Broadcasting at Cartoon Network Worldwide and TNT Latin America.

NATPE 2012He will now take charge of the strategy for Scripps’ international programming portfolio and will be joined at the head of the division by Scripps veteran Bob Baskerville.

Baskerville has been promoted to chief operating officer of the international division having worked as its general manager since June 2010. He will now oversee all day-to-day operations of Scripps Network Interactive’s international business.

Baskerville originally joined Scripps in 1994 and was previously president of cablenet DIY Network.

NeCastro said: “International development is an important component of Scripps Networks Interactive’s long-term growth strategy.

“With Jim Samples and Bob Baskerville at the helm, we have the right combination of creative and disciplined leadership needed to move our international ambitions forward.

“Together, they will be exploring new partnerships, broadening our global distribution footprint and developing our digital content strategy as we strive to serve international media across the globe.”

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