TARA Sullivan is the vice president of ad sales marketing for the Food Network and Cooking Channel, owned by Scripps Networks.
Since launching HGTV in 1994, Scripps Networks has become the leader in lifestyle media, developing some of the most relevant content available on television, the Internet and satellite radio, in books and magazines, and on today’s emerging media platforms. A native of Brooklyn, Sullivan creates sales strategies, sponsorship and promotional opportunities for the Food Network and Cooking Channel, and oversees the development of integrated programming and marketing alliances with national advertisers.
She has guided the formation of marketing relationships with Food Network talent, including Guy Fieri’s partnership with TGI Friday’s. Mediaweek cited efforts such as these in naming Food Network to its 2008 Cable Hot List, praising the network for its creative integrated sponsorship packages.
Before joining Scripps Networks in 2003, Sullivan served as an account supervisor with McCann-Erickson/MRM Partners, and served in marketing roles for Turner Broadcasting System International, the Lord Group and Advertising Women of New York. Sullivan’s maternal grandparents were born in counties Roscommon and Clare. She traces her paternal Irish roots to counties Tipperary and Kerry.
Sullivan has visited Ireland twice, once as a child (“We thought the ketchup was sweet, and found it oh-so different to put butter on tea sandwiches! I loved every moment,” she recalls), and in 1993 with a friend.
“My Irish heritage is a tremendous part of who I am. My grandparents left Ireland but they did not leave the culture behind, and we always relished the stories and music of their childhoods,” says Sullivan.
“The culture was important to my family, as it remains to me. I studied Irish stepdancing as a child, and still enjoy a good set dance.
“And in 1998-99, I studied the Gaelic language, and was a charter member (in fact, I was the chathaoirleach) of the Manhattan branch of the Conradh na Gaeilge, where we held several fundraising events, including a ceili and performances. While the branch did not gain the momentum we needed to thrive in New York, it was an amazing experience, and a thorough immersion into the culture.”
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