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Scripps consolidates news leadership under award-winning news executive Kate O’Brian

Feb. 28, 2024 By Molly Miossi

CINCINNATI – The E.W. Scripps Company has appointed award-winning news executive Kate O’Brian to the new role of president of News, responsible for all news operations across Scripps’ local media stations, Scripps News and Court TV.

Photo of Kate O'Brian, Scripps News President, in a black turtleneck wearing peal earrings with her arms crossed

Kate O’Brian

This move allows Scripps’ local and national news operations to align more closely in editorial strategy – each dedicated to serving American audiences the news and information they need to make informed decisions about their lives.

“Kate O’Brian is a skilled executive and journalist who embodies our responsibility to serve American audiences nationally and locally. This new structure puts oversight for the entire company’s news and editorial strategy under her leadership,” said Adam Symson, president and CEO of Scripps. “Scripps will maintain locally run, locally focused newsrooms serving each of our local markets, and at the same time we will coordinate our local and national reporting for the benefit of all our audiences, including for Scripps News’ network.”

O’Brian joined Scripps in 2021 to lead Newsy and Court TV and serve as the architect for Scripps News, merging the company’s local and national news resources into a national news division. Last fall, the network earned its first Emmy award, for “Plastic Time Bomb.”

“Over the past few years, Scripps’ local and national news operations have demonstrated the powerful impact of combining deep community expertise with national context and reach,” O’Brian said. “This structure will allow our local news and Scripps News teams to harness their combined strengths to deliver even more high-impact political reporting, severe weather, breaking news coverage and other stories important to our audiences in any market.”

Scripps leaders reporting to O’Brian:

Christina Hartman

      • Christina Hartman, vice president, head of Scripps News, will lead the network that reaches 95% of Americans with fact-based, in-depth reporting and programming on multiple platforms. Hartman has been serving as head of news standards for Scripps News and Court TV. Previously, she was vice president of Newsy.

Ethan Nelson

      • Ethan Nelson, vice president, head of Court TV, will continue to lead the network as it brings gavel-to-gavel coverage and in-depth legal reporting and expertise to the nation’s most compelling and important trials.
          • The vice president, head of Local News, a new, open role that will oversee Scripps’ local news content strategy alongside O’Brian. This person will work closely with Dean Littleton, senior vice president of local media, to execute the content strategy along with the news initiative for our local news teams.

O’Brian’s career in news and journalism spans nearly four decades. Prior to joining Scripps, she was a longtime ABC news executive who, among many other roles, served as head of affiliate news services and worked closely with 200 local stations. O’Brian also was the first woman to run a 24/7 cable news organization when she was appointed president at Al Jazeera America.


Media contact: Molly Miossi, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3713, [email protected]

About Scripps
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is a diversified media company focused on creating a better-informed world. As one of the nation’s largest local TV broadcasters, Scripps serves communities with quality, objective local journalism and operates a portfolio of more than 60 stations in 40+ markets. Scripps reaches households across the U.S. with national news outlets Scripps News and Court TV and popular entertainment brands ION, Bounce, Defy TV, Grit, ION Mystery and Laff. Scripps is the nation’s largest holder of broadcast spectrum. Scripps is the longtime steward of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps’ long-time motto is: “Give light and the people will find their own way.”