Scripps to Restructure and Reorganize to Create ‘More Nimble Company’

By Kevin Eck 

The E.W. Scripps Company has announced plans to restructure and reorganize.

The station group said the upcoming moves will “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.”

The station group has promoted Scripps Network president Lisa Knutson (pictured) to chief operating officer. Knutson 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.


Though light on details, the station group said Knutson’s restructuring plan has three key objectives:

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

The reorg is aimed at growing the company amidst “great change in the television industry” by exploring what it calls three growth areas: relying on news and sports to complement Scripps’ entertainment brands, leveraging the wide range of television distribution platforms available today and to move into 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. Brian Lawlor, who has led the company’s Local Media division since 2009, will serve as president of Scripps Sports. Kate O’Brian will serve as president of Scripps News. She and Lawlor will continue to report to Symson.