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Jim Samples2
Jim Samples
Born: James Samples
1963 (age 52)
Known for: General Manager and Senior Vice President of Cartoon Network Latin America (2000—2001)
General Manager and Senior Vice President of TNT Latin America (2000—2001)
Designer and general manager of CN Online (1998—2001)
General manager and Executive Vice President of Cartoon Network Worldwide (2001—2007)
President of HGTV (2007—2011)
President of Scripps' International Division (2007—present)
Preceded by: Betty Cohen
Suceded by: Stuart Snyder

James "Jim" Samples (born 1963) was the former general manager and Executive Vice President of Cartoon Network from 2001 to 2007. The eras under him were Powerhouse (2001–2004), CN City (2004–2007), and Yes! (2006–2007). Under Samples, many different changes occurred at CN, such as the introduction of Miguzi and Adult Swim.

After Samples's resignation following the 2007 Boston Bomb scare, Stuart Snyder took over his position as being in charge of the network. Samples then went on to work at HGTV, and later Scripps International Division.

Business career

Turner Broadcasting System

Samples spent nearly fourteen years with Turner Broadcasting System in various leadership capacities spanning affiliate sales, marketing, programming and digital media. He started his career at Turner in international business development in 1993 and then became the President of Turner International Argentina, based in Buenos Aires, the following year.

Cartoon Network

In 2000, Samples became Senior Vice President and General Manager of TNT and Cartoon Network Latin America, serving as such until 2001.

On August 22, 2001, Samples was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager of Cartoon Network Worldwide, replacing founder and original president Betty Cohen. Under Samples's leadership, the network included successful original series such as Samurai Jack, Codename: Kids Next Door, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Camp Lazlo, and Ben 10. He is also credited with the rollout and launch of Adult Swim, the leading late-night network for young men in the United States, and joined forces with 20th Century Fox to put Family Guy back into production as the anchor for the Adult Swim line-up.

Under Samples's leadership, Cartoon Network also somewhat controversially began airing live-action "cartoon-inspired" movies in 2005; this move was made in response to the slumping ratings due to competing live-action shows on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. In 2006, the network produced their first live-action original movie, Re-Animated, a collaboration between live-action and animation. When asked about the project, Samples stated "We think when it's done the 'Cartoon Network' way, kids will enjoy seeing animation and the real world collide."[1] While Cartoon Network intended to produce future shows that blend live-action with animation as well as "cartoony" live-action shows, Samples maintained "we're predominately an animated network and that's not changing anytime soon."[2]

Samples resigned from Cartoon Network on February 9, 2007, following a bomb scare in Boston caused by packages left around the city that were part of an outdoor marketing campaign promoting the Adult Swim series Aqua Teen Hunger Force.[3][4] Samples made the decision "in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch", and with the "hope that my decision allows us to put this chapter behind us and get back to our mission of delivering unrivaled original animated entertainment for consumers of all ages".[5] Following Samples's resignation, Stuart Snyder was named his successor.[6]

HGTV

Samples served as President of HGTV from 2007 to 2011. During his tenure, HGTV ranked every year as the #1 network among upscale female viewers in the U.S. At HGTV, Samples broadened the network’s programming slate by introducing a series of hits shows including Love It or List It, Property Brothers, and Kitchen Cousins while greatly expanding the network’s hit franchise House Hunters. He also partnered with the consumer products team to create new off-air brand extensions including HGTV Magazine, the #1 home magazine in the U.S., and an extensive HGTV-branded product line.

Scripps Networks International

Since 2011, Jim Samples has served as President of International for Scripps Networks Interactive. In this role, Samples oversees the strategic direction and daily operations of the company’s international division which distributes five international brands – Asian Food Channel, Fine Living, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel – across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In addition, Samples sits on the Board for and manages the company’s joint-venture relationships with both UKTV in the UK and Shaw Media in Canada. He also oversees the division’s international program licensing business.

TVN

In mid-2015 Scripps Networks Interactive bought TVN Group, one of the top media companies in Poland. In July 2016, in addition to overseeing SNI’s international division, Samples was appointed TVN’s new President of the Management Board. In 2017, he was also confirmed the company’s CEO. Under Samples’s leadership, the Polish media group has significantly expanded its distribution footprint. HGTV has made its first move into Europe with a successful launch in Poland in January of 2017. Food Network and Travel Channel have also enriched TVN’s bouquet of channels and the company has further strengthened its digital position by acquiring Gamellon, a multichannel network partnering with YouTube in CEE.

References

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