Good-Looking Cooking: Burton Jablin

May 1, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The player: Burton Jablin, executive VP of Scripps Networks, which includes Food Network and HGTV
The play: Mr. Jablin helped lead Scripps’ launch of high-definition simulcast broadcasts of Food Network and HGTV in March, two years after the networks began programming in HD. Food Network is upgrading its New York studios, which will have the necessary equipment to broadcast in true HD starting in October. “So much of HGTV is about how people create greater beauty in their homes and yards, so it’s visually important to see what people are doing,” Mr. Jablin said. As for Food Network, “You can’t taste what’s being cooked, so it’s even more important to provide as much visual clarity and beauty to what we’re doing.”
The pitch: E.W. Scripps is counting on the HD simulcasts of two of its five channels—the others are DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country—to boost revenue at its networks division. Scripps Networks increased its first-quarter revenue by 15%, outpacing the parent company’s 6.8% revenue increase. Food Network revenue jumped 19% from a year earlier, E.W. Scripps said last week.
The challenges: Like other networks, Scripps is dependent on distributors such as cable companies to provide enough bandwidth to show high-definition programming. Additionally, both networks have shows that are rebroadcast over many years because of the evergreen nature of programming in the food and home improvement genres, so the channels are as much as five years away from showing all of their programs in true HD, Mr. Jablin estimated.
Backstory: Mr. Jablin, 48, joined Scripps in 1994 to help launch HGTV, and was in charge of the network by 2000. He’d previously worked in television news at Fox-owned KTTV in Los Angeles and CBS-owned WBBM-TV in Chicago. The Harvard University graduate grew up in Highland Park, outside Chicago, and now is based in Knoxville, Tenn.


  1. Mr. Jablin thanks a lot(not) for stretchovision on HGTV-HD and Food Network HD. I understand you do not have all HD material but you should present 4X3 material as upconverted with sidebars on the HD channel. At least the resolution is somewhat better and you do not get that nauseating feeling as the camera scans the rooms or landscape.

  2. Thank you SO much for all the wonderful shows you have created, my family and friends LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your station!!!!
    Keep up the good work;)

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)