Fairbairn exits as Scripps takes channels in-house

Kathy Fairbairn, the director of programming for Food Network and Fine Living and the former JimJam boss, has exited AMC Networks after the channels’ owner, Scripps Network Interactive, took its operation back in-house.

The Scripps channels had been operated by Chello Zone, the channel operator that was part of Chellomedia, which was acquired by AMC Networks in a deal announced late last year.

TBI understands this arrangement will cease at end-2014 and Scripps will take operation of the channels back in-house. Fairbairn, a Chello Zone (now AMC Networks International – Zone [EMEA]) employee, has left as a result.

The transition has already started and Food Network and Fine Living recently secured wider carriage across Liberty Global’s pay TV footprint, in a deal negotiated by Scripps.

The channels have been pushing more heavily into original programming recently with their own series including The Big Eat, which was recently ordered for Food Network.

Scripps also recently took its programme sales function back in-house. Last week it hired former Discovery Networks International executive Katharina Feistauer as its vice president of programming for the UK and EMEA region.

AMCNI Zone still operates a bouquet of channels including CBS Action, CBS Drama, CBS Reality, Horror Channel and Extreme Sports Channel.

Until September of last year, Fairbairn was general manager of another AMCNI Zone channel, the kids service JimJam.

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