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For Scripps Networks President John Lansing, a diverse and inclusive way of thinking and working pervades everything his company does, from the people it hires to the programming it creates.
“Diversity is not an extracurricular activity,” said Lansing, speaking to a group of corporate leaders and diversity-management executives attending DiversityInc’s conference on global diversity in Washington, D.C., March 9.
DiversityInc’s global research in 12 countries was previewed at the event and an executive summary will be available soon on DiversityIncBestPractices.com.
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Since launching HGTV in 1994, Scripps Networks, which owns and operates some of the most popular lifestyle networks on television with HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network and Fine Living Network, has become the dominant media and marketing company in the home, food and lifestyle categories in the United States.
Lansing attributed much of that success to the company’s “nuanced and articulate and smart approach” to diversity and inclusion efforts. He said the company employs five pillars of diversity that support every aspect of their business, including workforce, supply chain, community outreach, marketing efforts and programming.
As China, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, India, Indonesia and other large developing nations become more prosperous, Lansing believes the next frontier for Scripps to conquer is the international marketplace.
“Our next mountain to climb is really around the launch of international channels,” he said. The rise of other emerging economies offers remarkable opportunities to create culturally relevant lifestyle networks in many places around the world, he said.
The company has always had an international strategy, Lansing said. Scripps Networks has successfully syndicated its branded programming to more than 170 countries and on every continent around the globe.
Lansing believes this new focus will allow the company to take greater advantage of the new wave of media growth occurring today in the international marketplace as well as the expected growth of the global middle class, which is expected to skyrocket to 1.5 billion people by 2030.
To that end, Scripps has launched new channels overseas and forged promising joint ventures that enable the company to leverage its expertise as creators of lifestyle content around the world, he said. That includes capitalizing on the exploding consumer interest in food as a television-programming genre by exporting the Food Network to Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
“We believe Scripps Networks is well positioned to be a leading provider [of content internationally] and to benefit from the growing incomes of this emerging middle class,” he said.