RTDNF to honor Scripps CEO Rich Boehne with 2016 First Amendment Leadership Award

Thu, December 03, 2015 by Carolyn Micheli

CINCINNATI – Rich Boehne, chairman, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) is to be recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) with its First Amendment Leadership Award. The honor pays tribute to Boehne’s dedication to First Amendment rights.

Boehne is a former newspaper reporter who rose to the top of one of America’s most entrepreneurial journalism enterprises by championing a mission-focused culture. During his tenure, he has committed the company’s resources to supporting diverse voices and battling for open public records in local media markets across the nation.

Boehne has served in a variety of roles at Scripps over nearly 30 years and remains steadfast in his belief that journalists play a critical role, deserving of the Constitutional protections that make their work possible.

“We live in a time when, in many ways, speech is more free than it’s ever been in human history. But amid this wonderful chaos of diverse voices, there are those who remain committed to squashing true open expression and to throttling the watchdog role of the press,” said Boehne. “I’m blessed to work with the thousands of professionals at Scripps who use the First Amendment as a tool for good and who each day live by our motto, ‘Give light and the people will find their own way.’”

Boehne began his media career in high school, selling subscriptions to The Cincinnati Post, a Scripps paper where he later worked as a business reporter and editor. He joined the Scripps corporate staff in 1988, just before the company’s initial public offering. In 1999 he became executive vice president, and in 2006 he was elected chief operating officer, all along the way helping guide the newspaper and broadcast company through a period of dramatic growth and diversification through the launch and acquisition of cable networks.

In 2008, Scripps spun off its cable networks, including HGTV and The Food Network, into a separate company, Scripps Networks Interactive, and focused its future on journalism and evolving news models. Boehne was appointed president and CEO and was named chairman in 2013. Today Scripps expresses its public service through local television, radio and digital news brands, plus a portfolio of fast-growing national brands including its award-winning over-the-top news network, Newsy, and one of the nation’s leading podcast networks, Midroll.

In addition to his role at Scripps, Boehne serves on the board of directors of The Associated Press and is a member of the Northern Kentucky University board of regents.

The award will be presented at a ceremony at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C., on March 16. Boehne will join other award winners that night including:

Jason Rezaian, Washington Post
Correspondent Jason Rezaian has been held captive in Iran since July 22, 2014. Accused of espionage, he has been convicted and sentenced by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, but no specific sentence has been announced, leaving no indication of how long his incarceration will continue. 

Cami McCormick, CBS News
Radio journalist Cami McCormick covers the State Department and the Pentagon and reports from battlegrounds in the far corners of the world. In Afghanistan in 2009, she suffered the loss of her leg while an embedded reporter. She has since returned to war zones, reporting from the field, including Afghanistan and Syria.

Robert Garcia, National Public Radio
Robert Garcia is Executive Producer of Newscasts at National Public Radio. He serves on the board of directors of the Student Press Law Center, which protects the First Amendment rights of student journalists.

Tim Tai, University of Missouri
While covering student protests at the University of Missouri in the fall of 2015, Tim Tai became one of the most visible journalists in America overnight. As seen in a viral video, Tai stood his ground and asserted his First Amendment right when confronted by university students, faculty and staff, threatening him with violence if he did not abandon his efforts to cover the protests. 

Tom Brokaw, NBC News
RTDNF will honor longtime NBC News anchor and correspondent Tom Brokaw with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In a career at the network spanning more than 40 years, Brokaw has been the recipient of multiple Edward R. Murrow Awards, and was the 2002 recipient of RTDNA’s Paul White Award.

This is the 26th anniversary of the RTDNF First Amendment Awards. RTDNF is a charitable and educational group that supports protecting First Amendment freedoms and the right to a free and unfettered media. It is also a training and educational organization, which provides thousands of dollars in scholarships each year to the journalists of the future and provides training to both entry-level and experienced media professionals.

About Scripps
The E.W. Scripps Company serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of television, radio and digital media brands. Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners, with 33 television stations in 24 markets and a reach of nearly one in five U.S. households. It also owns 34 radio stations in eight markets. Scripps also runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses, including podcast industry leader Midroll Media, over-the-top video news service Newsy and weather app developer WeatherSphere. Scripps also produces television shows including The List and The Now, runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and serves as the long-time steward of the nation’s largest, most successful and longest-running educational program, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

Investor contact
Carolyn Micheli, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3732, Carolyn.micheli@scripps.com

Media contact
Valerie Miller, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3023, Valerie.miller@scripps.com

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