By Sahil Patel
According to sources familiar with the matter, Meyer, who served as president of Ulive since its inception, and Owens, who was its chief operating officer, resigned from their posts a few weeks ago. Both were longtime Scripps Networks Interactive executives, having served in various capacities at the lifestyle media giant over the past decade.
When reached for comment, a Scripps Networks spokesperson confirmed the departures, but declined to comment any further.
Ulive launched last year with a focus on providing original lifestyle series and videos — with traditional and native digital stars attached — as well as clips from Scripps-owned cable channels like Food Network, Cooking Channel, and HGTV.
Even with such a healthy library of content, it’s hard to assess how many people are actually watching anything on Ulive. Scripps does not break out viewership stats for Ulive.com. Quantcast estimates that Ulive.com is averaging 510,000 unique visitors per month in the US, but that number is not verified by Scripps. The brand’s social presence (more than 81,000 likes on Facebook; less than 3,000 followers on Twitter) also suggests middling numbers.
Some of that could be attributed to Scripps Networks’ traditional business making greater investments in digital — in some cases creating companion programming tied to existing TV series, sources said. This was apparent during Scripps Networks’ 2014 Newfront presentation, which was a crowded affair with presentations covering digital programming from Ulive as well as Food Network, Travel Channel, and Cooking Channel.
With Meyer and Owens out, responsibility for growing the Ulive brand goes to Scripps Networks EVP of digital Tamara Franklin, according to sources.