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Scripps launches plan to evolve company structure and position it to capture new growth opportunities

Jan. 5, 2023 By Carolyn Micheli

CINCINNATI – The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) will restructure and reorganize to create a more nimble company to further leverage its strong position in the U.S. television ecosystem and propel its growth across new distribution platforms and emerging media marketplaces.

Effective immediately, Lisa Knutson, who served as president, Scripps Networks, will assume the role of chief operating officer. She will lead the company’s restructuring and is taking over responsibility for the company’s operating results. The leaders of Local Media and Scripps Networks will report to her.

Headshot of Lisa Knutson.

Lisa Knutson

Her restructuring work has three key objectives:

  • To improve company operating performance by forming an agile, responsive organizational structure;
  • To realize synergies between existing operations; and
  • To create an organizational structure where employees can move seamlessly throughout the company.

The reorganization is aimed at best positioning the company to perpetuate and grow amidst great change in the television industry by facilitating the deployment of capital, resources and effort against the company’s greatest strategic opportunities, particularly in three growth areas:

  • The enduringly popular content categories of news and sports – to complement Scripps’ strong entertainment brands;
  • The wide range of television distribution platforms available today and to come; and
  • The rapidly emerging marketplace driven by ATSC 3.0.

“With the acquisition of ION and the creation of Scripps Networks two years ago, Scripps became a major U.S. television enterprise, able to capitalize on opportunities in the national and local television marketplaces,” said Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson. “We see the next phase of our growth coming from a focus on news and sports, over-the-air and connected TV viewing and new ways to monetize our spectrum.

“The restructuring work of Lisa and her team is aimed at positioning us to seize the opportunities ahead by creating a leaner and more agile operating structure through the centralization of certain services and the consolidation of layers of management across our operating businesses and at the corporate office.”

In 17 years at Scripps, Knutson has served as chief financial officer, chief strategy officer and chief administrative officer, and she has led or participated in numerous company restructuring and transformational initiatives.

As precursors to today’s announcement, Scripps recently launched Scripps Sports and Scripps News. Scripps Sports further leverages the company’s local market depth and national broadcast reach to form partnerships with sports leagues, conferences and teams. Brian Lawlor, who has led the company’s Local Media division since 2009, will serve as president of Scripps Sports. Scripps News marshals the company’s collective news-gathering resources to give American audiences greater access to free, quality local and national journalism, bolstered by Scripps’ decades-long commitment to fact-based news and information. Kate O’Brian will serve as president of Scripps News. She and Lawlor will continue to report to Symson.

The company expects to provide a more detailed update on the restructuring during its February earnings reporting period.

Media contact: Michael Perry, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-259-4718, [email protected]

Investor contact: Carolyn Micheli, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3732, [email protected]