By Evan DeSimone
Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), which specializes in developing lifestyle content for television and digital platforms, has announced the launch of a new in-house content division Scripps Lifestyle Studios.
The studio will be responsible for developing new approaches to digital content and producing innovative advertising solutions for digital formats. It will operate in tandem with Scripps-owned lifestyle television properties including GTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, with the goal of producing extended or complimentary content and advertising around those brands. That content is expected to include video, photography, social media, live digital events and written word editorial.
“This new creative hub will enable us to achieve significant additional scale across all digital platforms, and build on our leadership position in lifestyle content,” said Burton Jablin, chief operating officer of SNI, in a statement. “The linear content we produce across our television networks is an essential element of the media plans of brands that want to reach large upscale adult audiences. With the creation of the Scripps Lifestyle Studios, we are making moves to ensure that we deliver that same audience across the broadest possible range of our own platforms and those of our partners.”
The new unit will be led by veteran Scripps exec Vikki Neil, who will assume the title of Scripps Lifestyle Studios SVP and general manager. Neil has been with SNI since 2005, serving in a variety of leadership roles including VP of interactive sales and, most recently, SVP and general manager for digital. Under her leadership, Scripps Lifestyle Studios will focus on generating relevant shareable content around Scripps’ existing linear brands to actively engage digital consumers. The content studio will operate physically from several locations, including Food Network Kitchen in New York City and the HGTV Studio in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to Scripps’ television personalities, the studio will engage over 100 culinary, home and travel experts to create editorial and advertorial content.
Neil’s leadership team will be filled out by lifestyle content veterans including Deb Puchalla, formerly of Martha Stewart Living, who will serve as VP of content development. Digital advertising specialist Traci Topham will act as SVP of Scripps Lifestyle Studios Client Solutions, and EVP of digital Tamara Franklin will head Scripps Networks Interactive’s digital business, while EVP of digital ad sales Beth Lawrence will leads digital advertising sales.
SNI’s push to extend its lifestyle reach into the digital realm is part of a rising trend. As more consumers gravitate toward digital content consumption, lifestyle has emerged as a high-demand vertical drawing attention from established players and new comers alike. Just yesterday, Zazoom Media Group announced a fresh slate of digital lifestyle shows meant to tap into the growing niche. The past year has seen digital lifestyle publishers including Kin Community, StyleHaul and Refinery29 attract both eyes and investors. AwesomnessTV recently took aim at the family and lifestyle market with the launch of its Awestruck division, and a variety of new players including FamiLeague and Channel Mum have emerged to mine the niche.