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Scripps announces promotions for national networks distribution leadership team

Jan. 6, 2021 By Carolyn Micheli

CINCINNATI – The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) has appointed three media industry veterans from ION, Katz and Newsy to roles supporting distribution of its new national networks business.

The three leaders will report to Jeffrey Wolf, who Scripps recently appointed as chief distribution officer for the national networks business. Wolf will be responsible for overseeing distribution of the national networks on platforms including broadcast, cable, satellite, over-the-top and streaming. Before the new role, Wolf oversaw distribution for the five Katz networks and the streaming service Brown Sugar, helping grow each network’s reach to between 90-97% of U.S. households.

Reporting to Wolf will be:

  • Brad Samuels, vice president, distribution partnerships and strategy. Samuels will lead the strategy and manage partnership development efforts related to maximizing the distribution for

    Brad Samuels

    the networks across pay TV, OTT, connected TV and other platforms. Samuels was most recently vice president, distribution, for Newsy, where he oversaw distribution strategy and business development for Scripps’ news network.

With over 30 years of experience in the television industry, Samuels has served in a variety of leadership roles in distribution, strategy, marketing and other functions for Bloomberg Media, Comedy Central, TV One, MSG Media and Ovation TV. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in telecommunications management from Michigan State University and is based in New York City.

  • Damian Riordan, vice president, broadcast distribution, will help increase the distribution of Scripps’ national networks by developing and maintaining key partnerships with leading

    Damian Riordan

    broadcast partners and identifying innovative distribution opportunities. Riordan was most recently senior vice president, broadcast relations, for ION Media, where he was responsible for strategic relationships with leading broadcast partners, helping increase ION’s household reach to over 100 million homes.

A seasoned media and entertainment business development executive, Riordan founded Peloton Media Advisors LLC, an M&A advisory firm with a focus in the media and entertainment sector and advised media and entertainment companies through roles with HT Capital Advisors and Communications Equity Associates. Riordan has held a variety of leadership roles in the industry, including with Time Warner and Warner Bros. Television. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marquette University and is based in New York City.

  • Yvonne Haugh has been appointed vice president, distribution and affiliate operations. In this role, Haugh will oversee all operations related to distribution and affiliate relations, including

    Yvonne Haugh

    contract management and operational workflows and systems. She was most recently senior vice president, marketing and affiliate relations and chief of staff for the Katz networks, with responsibility for all business-to-business marketing efforts and affiliate relations operations while overseeing a variety of high-level projects for the networks.

Haugh brings over 30 years of media industry experience, including 23 years at Turner Broadcasting, where she was director, acquisitions and program planning and oversaw a variety of pre- and post-acquisition functions for all Turner network brands. She also served on the marketing team for CNN Newsource Sales, where she was responsible for managing the CNN brand and executing all distribution marketing initiatives. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and marketing from Duquesne University and is based in the Atlanta area.

“The opportunity ahead for the new Scripps networks is incredible, and I’m proud to partner with this deeply experienced team on setting and executing distribution strategies that will help our programming engage viewers in every corner of the U.S.,” said Wolf. “Our partnerships with broadcasters, streaming services and other distributors is key to our success, and the broad range of experiences that Yvonne, Damian and Brad bring to the table will help Scripps shape the next era of television.”

The new Scripps networks will be led by Lisa Knutson, who most recently had served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Scripps.

All roles are effective upon the close of Scripps’ acquisition of ION.

About Scripps
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is one of the nation’s leading media companies, focused on creating a better-informed world through a portfolio of news, information and entertainment brands. Committed to serving local audiences through objective journalism, Scripps operates 60 local TV stations in 41 markets. It is creating a national TV networks business that will include ION Media’s entertainment programming, Newsy’s straightforward headline and documentary news content and the five popular Katz broadcast networks including Bounce and Court TV. Scripps runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of 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:
Kari Wethington, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3763, Kari.wethington@scripps.com