E.W. Scripps Co. ponied up $49.5 million Wednesday to acquire a 70 percent stake in television network Shop at Home.
Scripps -- media assets of which include 10 broadcast stations and cable networks Home & Garden Television, Food
Network, Do It Yourself and Fine Living -- is also floating Shop at Home a
$47.5 million loan to pay down existing debt.
The deal gives Scripps control of Shop at Home's television network, but not
its five broadcast stations.
"Shop at Home Network provides Scripps with an efficient way to quickly gain
scale in a fast-growing industry that we believe is increasingly related to the
media businesses we currently operate," Scripps president and CEO Kenneth W. Lowe said in a prepared statement.
Potential crossover opportunities might include retailing HGTV and Food
consumer products on Shop at Home and bringing cable-network talent onto
the shopping channel to pitch their wares.
Shop at Home, available in about 42 million homes, has tallied $142 million
in sales for the first nine months of fiscal-year 2002. It's the fourth-largest
television home shopping channel.