Susan Packard

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HGTV co-founder Susan Packard authors new book for women in business
By Kristin Farley, WATE 6 On Your Side Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Susan Packard is the co-founder of HGTV and one of the loudest voices for women in the workplace. Now, she has written her first book.

This book could become a new guide for women in business, helping any one of you at home work your way to the top of your industry.

Twenty years after helping to launch HGTV, it is only fitting that Packard is about to release her first book.

“A friend of mine who is a business writer said to me, ‘You know, you have a pretty interesting story. You might want to consider telling it.’ And so I sat back and said, ‘What is the story? What made a difference for me?’” said Packard.

Packard says that’s how she arrived at “New Rules of the Game,” a book she hopes will become a handbook for women in business. The message is to think like a winner and act like an athlete, but at the same time don’t be afraid to use humor in the workplace.

“I will sometimes hear back [that] my colleagues need to take me seriously, I need to be careful about that. And the problem there, while you are being taken so seriously, the guy in the cube next to you is getting the promotion,” she said.

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Susan Packard is co-founder of Scripps Networks Interactive and former chief operating officer of HGTV.

Packard held a variety of senior positions at Scripps Networks Interactive, (NYSE: SNI), the leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet. The company’s media portfolio includes popular lifestyle television brands HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, country music network Great American Country (GAC) and the Travel Channel. She created and served as president of Scripps Networks New Ventures, where she oversaw the development and launch of DIY Network, Fine Living Network, and online interactive platforms. She was also president of worldwide distribution for the Scripps cable brands.

In 1980, she began her cable career at HBO then moved to NBC and was part of the start-up team for CNBC. In 1994 she joined HGTV and became chief operating officer in 1995. Under Packard’s helm, HGTV became one of the fastest growing cable networks in television history. Today HGTV is available in more than 99 million U.S. homes and distributed in 175 countries and territories. She helped to build Scripps Networks to a market value of over $10 billion.

She has been recognized by industry peers, colleagues and employees as an innovator, pioneer, role model and mentor. She received the “Woman of the Year” award by Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT) and was profiled in Modern Visionaries, a book chronicling the contributions of women to the cable and telecommunications industry. Contemporary Economics, a high school textbook, profiled her as an entrepreneur in the field of media specialization. CableWorld magazine honored her among “The Most Influential Women in Cable” numerous times. In 2008, she was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.

Packard was the first woman elected to serve on the board of directors of Churchill Downs, Inc. (NASDAC:  CHDN), the owner and manager of the Kentucky Derby and other horseracing properties.  She served on the board for two terms. In that capacity she served on the Audit, Strategic Planning, and CEO Succession committees.

She is active in national, local business and community affairs.  She was elected to the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2001 and served for six years. She has served on the University of Tennessee’s College of Communication’s Board of Advisors and in 2004 she was named a College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni at Michigan State University. She is past vice chair of the board of an independent collegiate day school; is an advisor on job training programs for the homeless as board member of Lazarus Ventures LLC. In 2011, was named to Villanova Business School’s Dean’s Advisory Council and to the Tennessee Governor’s Commission on Film, Music and Entertainment. In recognition of her outreach work, she received the “E.W. Scripps William Burleigh Award” for distinguished community service.  In 2010, she was admitted to The Committee of 200, a select group of senior women executives dedicated to inspiring future women leaders in business.

She is an active speaker at global business forums and at universities such as UCLA, Fordham, and the Darden Business School at University of Virginia.

Packard is the author of New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace (February 2015). In New Rules of the Game, Packard advocates for a revolutionary new perspective for businesswomen, which she calls “gamesmanship”—a strategic way of thinking that cultivates creativity, focus, optimism, teamwork, and competitiveness.

Packard lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband and two female felines named Dot and Judy.