Scripps News’ Kate O’Brian Named President of News

By Mark Mwachiro 

Profile picture of Scripps News' Kate O'Brian

Scripps News, the “fact-based, nonopinionated” free over-the-air news network, announced that Kate O’Brian has been elevated to president of news. In this role, she will be responsible for all news operations across Scripps’ local media stations, Scripps News and Court TV.

“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 was most recently the executive vice president of the Scripps News division, overseeing Scripps News and Court TV.


“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.”

As a result of this move, Christina Hartman, vice president, head of Scripps News; Ethan Nelson, vice president, head of Court TV; and the company’s future vice president, head of Local News—a new, open role that will oversee Scripps’ local news content strategy—will all report to O’Brian.

O’Brian joined Scripps in 2021 to lead Scripps News, formerly Newsy and Court TV. After arriving, she worked to unify Scripps’ local and national news platforms. In September 2022, Newsy, Scripps Washington D.C. Bureau and Local Media national news desk were combined to form a national news division.

Scripps News is based in Atlanta, with bureaus in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Missoula, Nashville, New York, Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa and Tulsa.

Before joining Scripps News O’Brian was the first woman to run a 24/7 cable news organization when she was appointed president at Al Jazeera America in 2013.

Before transitioning to AJAM, O’Brian spent 30 years at ABC News, including the last six as the network’s senior vice president for news. In that role, O’Brian oversaw newsgathering across ABC’s news bureaus worldwide, business, law and justice, medical and investigative units, NewsOne, ABC News Radio and affiliate relations.

Also, while at ABC News, O’Brian served as gm of programming for ABC News Radio, as overseas field producer in Rome and London, as producer for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and as manager of talent development.