Most of the operations of Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) are in Knoxville, TN and now the global headquarters is going to be there as well.
“Knoxville is where it all began and where the company’s future is being charted,” said CEO Ken Lowe. “We’ve come a long way since launching HGTV and our Knoxville operations have become increasingly important. Making Knoxville and Tennessee the focal point of our global operations is a logical step in the company’s ongoing evolution.”
The decision to designate Knoxville as the company’s headquarters coincides with the completion of the new 150,000-square-foot Scripps Networks operating facility in West Knoxville. Final touches on the new facility, a large part of which has been occupied since March, were completed this month.
About 850 of the company’s 1,950 employees worldwide work in Knoxville where HGTV and DIY Network were created and continue to be based. The company’s technical center, including satellite uplink operations, a control center for all of its television networks and a wide range of other administrative, business and creative functions are also based in Knoxville.
The company will maintain a substantial presence in Cincinnati, where it has been headquartered since becoming an independent, publicly traded company in 2008. It was spun-off from The E.W. Scripps Company, which has long been based in the Queen City.
Lowe chose Knoxville as the location for HGTV’s launch when he conceived of and created the network in 1994. Since then the company has expanded its portfolio of lifestyle television networks and related interactive businesses to include Food Network, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, DIY Network and country music television network, Great American Country (GAC).
The company generated total revenues of $1.5 billion in 2009 and says it is on track to comfortably exceed that amount this year.
“Our decision to establish the company’s headquarters in Knoxville is an affirmation of the positive business climate that exists here in Tennessee,” said John Lansing, who as president of Scripps Networks oversees the day-to-day operations of the company. “It’s an acknowledgement that our company has found fertile ground here that has contributed greatly to our growth and success.”
Lansing, previously the head of local broadcasting for Scripps, moved to Knoxville from Cincinnati in 2004 to lead Scripps Networks.
“We highly value our legacy as a Cincinnati-based corporation and care deeply about the community and its future,” Lowe said. “Our announcement today does not diminish our commitment to civic involvement in Greater Cincinnati and to our many employees who make this great region their home. But it’s clear to us that the center of gravity for our company, by necessity, has shifted to Knoxville as we’ve expanded and grown our lifestyle content businesses.”
Key functions supporting the company’s responsibilities as a publicly traded company, including financial reporting, tax accounting, corporate secretary, treasury, and audit and compliance, will continue to be based in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati office employs about 50 people. Some members of the senior leadership team, including Lowe, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer Joseph NeCastro and Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary A.B. Cruz will maintain offices in both Cincinnati and Knoxville.