Scripps hires Discovery’s Luff to run EMEA

Phillip Luff

Phillip Luff

Lifestyle channels operator Scripps Networks Interactive has brought in Discovery executive Phillip Luff to run its EMEA business.

As managing director, Scripps Networks UK & EMEA, Luff will replace Jon Sichel, who is returning to the US to take a newly-created commercial role.

Luff joins from Discovery where he was most recently running the channel operator’s businesses in Russia and North East Europe.

He will report to Jim Samples, president of Scripps Networks International, who said: “There is a clear demand for Scripps Networks’ category-defining lifestyle content around the world, and with Phillip’s expertise, we will continue to take new and innovative approaches to growing our business while launching new channels, developing stronger brands, and increasing audience share within the region.”

Discovery said this morning that Olga Paskina will replace Luff. Based in Moscow, she will be country manager, north east Europe.

Olga Paskina

Olga Paskina

Until recently she was at privately-held Russian channel operator ProfMedia. Speaking about Luff’s departure, Kasia Kieli, president and managing director, Discovery Networks CEEMEA said: “Phillip has been an inspiring, passionate and visionary leader for our teams in Moscow and Kiev and has played a key role in setting up and developing both our offices in the region.

“I am confident that Olga Paskina, with her in-depth knowledge of the Russian market and vast leadership experience, will continue on this growth path and drive our business even further.”

Sichel has been running Scripps’ channels in EMEA since July 2012, when he relocated from the US to London. He has previously run the Travel Channel for Scripps and prior to that was vice president of business development at Discovery.

In his new role he will develop Scripps’ global content acquisition and commissioning as managing director of global commercial affairs. He will also work with Scripps Networks International leadership on potential acquisitions and joint venture partnerships.

Sichel will report to Cynthia Gibson, executive vice president and chief legal officer of Scripps Networks Interactive who said: “Jonathan’s deep understanding of our brands and our businesses, both in the United States and in rapidly expanding international markets, will be critical as we seek to deliver on our ambition to grow into a truly global content company.”

Luff has also worked at Liberty Media Group and Fox Sports Australia and in several posts and the world with Discovery.

Nick Thorogood will remain as EMEA content and marketing boss, reporting to Luff.