Scripps Networks Interactive has named Phillip Luff as the managing director of its operations in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Luff is replacing Jonathan Sichel, who is returning to the United States as managing director of global commercial affairs. He’ll return to New York next year after a short transition period.

Taking over from Luff as Discovery Channel’s Country Manager North East Europe Discovery is Olga Paskina, who will be based in Discovery’s Moscow office

Luff has spent the last 20 years in senior international roles with leading television and broadcast businesses and currently leads Discovery Networks International’s operations in Russia and North East Europe. He started his career in television with Liberty Media Group and FOX Sports Australia, and has since held a number of leadership positions with Discovery Networks International in Sydney, Tokyo, London, Warsaw and Moscow.

“Phillip Luff is a strategic and creative leader with extensive knowledge of the international media landscape. His vision and experience will be invaluable as we expand our footprint across the UK and EMEA,” said Jim Samples, president of Scripps Networks International. “There is a clear demand for Scripps Networks’ category-defining lifestyle content around the world, and with Phillip’s expertise, we will continue to take new and innovative approaches to growing our business while launching new channels, developing stronger brands, and increasing audience share within the region.”

Scripps is known in Europe for Food Network, Fine Living Network and Travel Channel.