Laureen Ong, who for more than three years has guided Travel Channel’s transition as a Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (NYSE: SNI) lifestyle television brand, will be stepping down as president of the network at the end of October.
“I feel my mission at Travel Channel is complete,” Ong said. “I came here to help transition Travel Channel into the Scripps family of lifestyle brands, put together a great leadership and creative team, and position the network for unprecedented growth. With those objectives accomplished, I’m looking forward to Travel Channel’s continuing evolution into a uniquely defined and competitively powerful lifestyle television brand.”
Travel Channel is a fully distributed multiplatform television network operated by Scripps Networks Interactive. Other Scripps lifestyle networks include HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country.
Ong joined Scripps Networks Interactive as president of Travel Channel in April 2010. During her tenure, Travel Channel has significantly expanded its programming schedule, with more than a dozen returning series this year. Successful programming franchises such as Hotel Impossible, Monumental Mysteries and Airport 24/7: Miami were launched under her leadership.“With Laureen Ong at the helm, Travel Channel has made great strides toward redefining travel as a television genre and establishing Travel Channel as a premier lifestyle television brand,” said Burton Jablin, president of the company’s Scripps Networks operating division. “Laureen provided the right leadership at the right time that was needed to move Travel Channel in a new direction to enhance its value to media consumers, advertisers and content distributors.” A successor to Ong has not been immediately named. Jablin will oversee the network’s operations and development on an interim basis while a search for her successor is under way. Ong joined Scripps Networks Interactive after serving as chief operating officer of Hong Kong-based Star Group Limited. She is considered one of pay television’s pioneers having helped launch SportsVision in Chicago more than 30 years ago. She also was the founding president of the National Geographic Channel.