Paul Scripps capping 30-year career
Wed, December 26, 2001 by Tim Stautberg
CINCINNATI – Paul K. Scripps, a sixth generation journalist who for more than 30 years has put into action his family’s ancestral love for the newspaper business, will retire Dec. 31 as a newspaper division vice president for The E. W. Scripps Company.Scripps, 56, will continue as a member of the Scripps board of directors and as a trustee of the Scripps Howard Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm.“Paul has had a life-long passion for Scripps newspapers and the professionals who produce them,” said Alan M. Horton, who heads Scripps’ newspaper division. “He is an advocate, cheerleader, confessor and goal setter for the more than 5,000 Scripps co-workers who give so much of themselves to produce all of our so-called daily miracles.“One of our publishers has adopted as his slogan the phrase ‘relentless optimism.’ No one in the history of newspapers has been so relentlessly optimistic as Paul Scripps has been and always will be. I am so pleased that he will continue on the company’s board. His support and advice are a huge help.”“Throughout its long history, this company’s remarkable success has been attributable, in special measure, to the extraordinary talent, and dedication, of its employees nationwide,” Scripps said. “My cherished years of being a colleague to many of these wonderful men and women occasions within me profound pride in that association, and resounding confidence in our organization’s bright future.” Scripps began his newspaper career 30 years ago, continuing a family tradition that can be traced back to his great-great-great grandfather, William Arminger Scripps, who in 1803, became editor of the London (England) Daily News. Paul Scripps’ father, the late John P. Scripps, was the founder of John P. Scripps Newspapers (JPSN), which in 1986 was merged with The E. W. Scripps Company. Paul Scripps also is a great-grandson of Edward W. Scripps, the founder of The E.W. Scripps Company.Paul Scripps began his newspaper career in 1970 at the Ventura County (Calif.) Star-Free Press, which at the time was the largest of the JPSN newspapers. The newspaper, now the Ventura County Star, is one of 21 daily newspapers operated by The E. W. Scripps Company.During his two years in Ventura, Scripps worked in all of the newspaper’s departments as part of a management training program. His indoctrination included a stint as an apprentice reporter, where, among other responsibilities, he was assigned to the police beat.After two years in Ventura, he was named editor and publisher of what at the time was JPSN’s smallest weekly newspaper, the Morro Bay (Calif.) Sun. Within a year after he was assigned to Morro Bay the Sun merged with a competing weekly – the Morro Bay Bulletin – and was renamed the Central Coast Sun-Bulletin.In 1974, Scripps moved to JPSN headquarters in San Diego to coordinate a management training project for the newspaper group. In 1977 he was named associate editorial director for JPSN, and in 1986 advanced to editorial director. That year, JPSN merged with The E. W. Scripps Company. Scripps was named a vice president for the Scripps newspaper group and for a time served as chairman of the board of John P. Scripps Newspapers before its consolidation with The E. W. Scripps Company was complete.Scripps has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Claremont Men’s College. Before beginning his newspaper career he served two years in the U.S. Army, including an 18-month tour of duty in Germany as chief of the Eighth Infantry Division’s redeployment section.In 1971, he married the former Elia Girdon of Acapulco, Mexico. The couple has two grown children, John and Ellen.Scripps is a member of various professional, recreational and philanthropic organizations. In addition to his role as a trustee of the Scripps Howard Foundation, he is a trustee of the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, the Ellen Browning Scripps Relief Trust and the Quest for Truth Foundation.He also is a member of the board of directors of the Inter American Press Association and a member of the San Diego Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists. He is a past president of the La Jolla (Calif.) Chapter of the International Wine & Food Society and is a member of other various clubs and associations, including the National Rifle Association, the San Diego Yacht Club, the San Diego Zoological Society and the San Diego Rest & Aspiration Society.The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, national television networks and interactive media. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast TV stations and three cable television networks, with plans to launch a fourth.Scripps national television network brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, Do It Yourself and Fine Living, due to launch in March 2002.The company also operates Scripps Howard News Service, United Media, the worldwide licensing and syndication home of PEANUTS and DILBERT, and 31 Web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com and comics.com.