|Born||James D. Samples Jr.|
1963 (age 54)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
|Residence||Knoxville, Tennessee, United States|
|Occupation||General manager and Executive Vice President of Cartoon Network (2001-2007)|
President of HGTV (2007-2011)
President of Scripps' International Division (2011-present)
James D. "Jim" Samples Jr. (born 1963) is an American businessman and media executive. He currently serves as the President of International for Scripps Networks Interactive and the CEO and President of the Management Board at TVN, one of the leading media groups in Poland.
Samples was the general manager and Executive Vice President of Cartoon Network between 2001 and 2007, replacing founder and original president Betty Cohen. Under his tenure, the Adult Swim block was created and launched and numerous successful original series aired, including Codename: Kids Next Door, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. He resigned the week after the 2007 Boston bomb scare, and was replaced by Stuart Snyder as the network's president on May 2, 2007.
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.
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, Ben 10, and Class of 3000. 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, such as The Goonies and Who Framed Roger Rabbit; this move was made in response to CN's 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." 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."
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. 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". Following Samples's resignation, Stuart Snyder was named his successor.
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.
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.
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' 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 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.