More NewsScripps Adds Smidgeon of Community Via Recipezaar Buy

Scripps Adds Smidgeon of Community Via Recipezaar Buy

The acquisition provides Scripps with potential new ad opportunities and a community technology platform.

Food Network owner Scripps Networks has added a smidgeon of community to its set of online lifestyle sites through the acquisition of recipe and cooking community site Recipezaar. In addition to creating more ad inventory and potential new ad opportunities for Scripps advertisers, the buy provides the lifestyle media firm with a community technology platform that can be adapted to its more popular sites like FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com and DIYnetwork.com

Part of a planned online media expansion, the Recipezaar buy will expand FoodNetwork.com into the social and user-generated content arena, one in which the site had been lacking. “We can now offer [advertisers] a leading branded site and a user-generated site as a combo deal,” said Jeff Meyer, SVP of Interactive ad sales for Scripps Networks.

Having access to Recipezaar’s five staffers and the site’s community members “will help inform us in how we move forward in this [Web 2.0] environment,” said Meyer, noting the culture of Recipezaar and its community site approach is “completely outside the [Scripps] company culture.”

Indeed, Scripps Networks, owned by newspaper publisher and broadcaster E.W. Scripps Company, is synonymous with lifestyle cable TV channels and their professionally-produced Web site components, such as HGTV and HGTV.com, DIY Network and DIYnetwork.com, and Fine Living TV Network and FineLiving.com.

Recipezaar, home to 230,000 user recipes, along with photos, reviews, member pages, cookbooks and menus, could serve as a forum for FoodNetwork.com advertisers to research consumer tastes and even help them discover new uses for their products, said Meyer. “The idea is to leverage that pretty large user group [to provide] advertiser feedback,” he said.

Some users visit both sites, according to Meyer, who said the crossover is in the 20-30 percent range leaving “good upside potential.” Some of that duplication is in the upper income demographics, he added. “That’s another interesting target from an advertiser perspective.” The site currently receives an average of 2.5 million unique visitors per month, said Meyer, adding FoodNetwork.com receives between 7.5 million and 9 million on average.

According to Meyer, there is a Recipezaar redesign expected early next year. Its two founders, ex-Microsoft employees Gay Gilmore and Troy Hakala, will remain in Seattle, and the site will continue to operate as a standalone entity.

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