Scripps networks has tapped a company veteran to head sales for its newly acquired Travel Channel business. Greg Regis, a vice president at the Food Network, takes the role.
As senior vice president of sales at the network with shows such as "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" and "Man v. Food," Regis will begin hiring a team to represent the channel and its ancillary properties, Scripps said.
Even after Cox took control of Travel Channel in 2007, network sales have been handled by previous owner Discovery Communications. Scripps now holds a majority stake in the channel, with Cox a partner.
On Monday, UBS issued a report upgrading Scripps Networks Interactive stock, suggesting "once Travel's ads are sold as part of Scripps' total offering, we believe that advertising at Travel could grow even if ratings do not." In December, by one measure in the adult 25-to-54 demo, ratings were up close to 20% this season.
Regis headed Food Network sales for the Eastern region and held previous posts with iTV company Wink Communications, NBC Interactive and ESPN/ABC Internet operations. Scripps said he was responsible for sales that made up some 60% of Food Network's annual sales revenue.
Jon Steinlauf, a senior vice president at Scripps networks' sales, described Regis as "a visionary," stating: "He thinks strategically and has demonstrated a great ability to lead and manage people."
Even after Scripps spent handsomely on the Travel deal, upgrade to a buy from UBS, its stock Monday rose about 5% in midday trading to near $46 a share. Travel Channel is in 95 million homes.