HGTV appoints new head of programming group

After initially working at HGTV 12 years ago, Freddy James is back as the senior vice president of program development and production. Here, HGTV president Jim Samples tells realscreen how the appointment came to be, and who will replace James as the site director of HGTV's website.
October 29, 2008

Freddy James started working at HGTV 12 years ago. He began as an associate producer then transferred to Scripps Productions where he produced special programming for both HGTV and Food Network. Later he became a programming director at DIY Network, where he was later moved up to vice president. Earlier this year he came back to HGTV, working as the site director for the channel’s website. There he directed the expansion of Rate My Space which started as an application on the website and soon turned into a show.

Now James has been appointed, by HGTV president Jim Samples, as senior vice president, program development and production for HGTV, where he will head up the network’s programming team.

‘Freddy James has the right combination of experience, proven successes, creativity, fresh perspective and energy that HGTV will need to expand its programming portfolio,’ said Samples. ‘His clarity of vision for the network’s future programming is perfectly balanced with his understanding of the HGTV brand and the network’s relationship with our loyal viewers. He is the right person to lead the programming team and spearhead development of innovative programming concepts for HGTV.’

James’ previous position will go to Jillian St. Charles who comes to the role from where she was formerly site director. St. Charles will continue to report Jody Jones, senior vice president of SN Digital, the digital arm of Scripps Networks.

‘Jillian has brought new life and great innovation to since she joined SN Digital,’ said Jones. ‘We know her insights and ideas will be a positive influence as we complete the relaunch of Additionally her experience in the home and lifestyle category – as well as her creativity and innovation as a programmer, web editor and interactive executive – will help us take to a new level.’

Check the upcoming issue of realscreen, which is due out in mid November, for a profile on Scripps Networks and its brands.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.