Scripps and Discovery end talks

January 13, 2014 12.05 Europe/London By Julian Clover

ScrippsDiscovery Channel and Scripps Networks Interactive have abandoned talks over a potential takeover or merger.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the talks had not gone beyond the exploratory stage, nor had Discovery tabled a formal offer.

Reports of a potential tie-up first emerged last December.

Scripps Networks Interactive was spun off as a separate company in 2008, but the possibility of a sale became more likely last year with the ending of a family trust. The newspaper said that the family, which can still vote as a block, did not appear to be ready to sell.

Scripps, which acquired its 50% in UKTV, operator of GOLD, Watch and Dave, in August 2011 also runs US networks Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel.