Scripps names top media law attorney to newly created general counsel post
Mon, March 08, 2004 by Mark Kroeger
CINCINNATI – A.B. Cruz III, a leading attorney in the media and entertainment field who has been managing business and legal affairs for Viacom Inc.’s BET television network, has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president and general counsel for The E. W. Scripps Company. His appointment is effective March 29.As the company’s first general counsel, Cruz will be responsible for coordinating and developing the company’s legal function across all of its operating divisions and media enterprises. Cruz will report directly to Scripps President and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth W. Lowe.“A. B. Cruz is a strategic thinker who brings excellent credentials and years of valuable experience in media law to this important position,” Lowe said. “He has a thorough understanding of our various media businesses and the legal issues they face. His role as the newest member of the Scripps team will be to help us meet both our company-wide legal and business objectives.”Scripps has created its first-ever general counsel position in response to the company’s rapid growth through the acquisition and development of new media businesses. The demand for in-house legal expertise has also been increased by the heightened emphasis on corporate governance and regulatory compliance.Cruz, 45, comes to Scripps from BET Holdings Inc. where he has been vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary since 1999. He played a leading role in BET’s $3 billion merger with Viacom in 2001. Before joining BET, Cruz was a senior associate with the prominent Washington D.C. law firm of Wiley, Rein & Fielding where he represented various telecommunications companies, including a major telecommunications association.“This is indeed a wonderful opportunity for me and my family,” Cruz said. “I’m both honored and excited about joining the Scripps team and look forward to contributing to the continued success of the company.”Cruz is a 1992 graduate of Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law in Washington D.C. He is a member of the District of Columbia, New York, Pennsylvania and U.S. Supreme Court bars. In addition to his Juris Doctorate, Cruz holds a master’s of business administration degree in marketing from the University of Maryland at College Park and a bachelor’s of science degree in engineering from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Cruz is a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserves.The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, national television networks, interactive media and television-retailing. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast TV stations, four cable and satellite television programming services and a television retailing network. All of the company’s media businesses provide content and advertising services via the Internet.Scripps Networks brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, DIY -- Do It Yourself Network and Fine Living. HGTV reaches about 85 million U.S. television households and Food Network can be seen in about 84 million households. Scripps Networks Web sites include FoodNetwork.com, HGTV.com, DIYnetwork.com and FINELIVING.com. Scripps Networks programming can be seen in 86 countries. The company’s television retailing subsidiary, Shop At Home Network, markets a growing range of consumer goods directly to television viewers and visitors to the Shop At Home Web site, shopathometv.com. Shop At Home reaches about 48 million full-time equivalent U.S. households.Scripps also operates Scripps Howard News Service and United Media, which is the worldwide licensing and syndication home of PEANUTS and DILBERT.