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Scripps Networks shares jump on reported bid talks

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Shares of Food Network and HGTV operator Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. jumped in after-hours trading Tuesday after a report that said the board of Discovery Communications Inc. discussed a possible bid for the company.

Variety reported on the discussion Tuesday, citing a person with knowledge of the situation.

Scripps Networks spokesman Mark Kroeger and Discovery spokeswoman Michelle Russo both declined to comment.

In October 2012, the last surviving beneficiary of a family trust that controlled Scripps Networks and its sister company The E.W. Scripps Co. died. The death of 94-year-old Robert P. Scripps, a grandson of founder Edward W. Scripps, meant the trust was dissolved and the next generation of Scripps descendants were distributed shares that amount to 90 percent voting control of both companies.

The death prompted speculation that a sale of the companies had become possible.

Scripps Networks runs TV networks including DIY, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country. Discovery runs channels like Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet. It is co-owner of Oprah Winfrey's channel, OWN. Bringing multiple pay TV channels under one roof could add leverage at the bargaining table when negotiating contracts with TV distributors.

SHARE ACTION: Scripps Interactive shares rose $12.50, or 17 percent, to $87.75 in after-hours trading Tuesday after closing up 51 cents at $75.25. Discovery shares fell $1.03, or 1.2 percent, to $86.20 after closing down 24 cents at $85.17.