HGTV president Girard to retire at year's end

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Television executive Judy Girard, who led the Food Network to prominence, will retire by the end of the year as president of sister cable network HGTV.

Girard worked for Lifetime and Americast, a Disney joint venture, before joining Knoxville-based Scripps Networks in 1998, first as general manager and then as president of the acquired Food Network.

The company credits her with helping redefine the television food genre, establishing Food Network's talent base including Rachael Ray, Paula Deen and Alton Brown, and more than doubling viewership.

In 2005, she became president of HGTV, the home and garden channel Scripps created in 1994. Today, it ranks among the top 15 cable networks in prime time with more than 90 million subscribers.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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