Leaders named for two companies to be created by Scripps separation

Thu, December 13, 2007 by Tim Stautberg

CINCINNATI - The E. W. Scripps Company, which intends to separate into two publicly traded corporations by mid-year 2008, has begun appointing board-level leadership and members of the management teams that will lead the company's various media businesses upon completion of the transaction.

At The E. W. Scripps Company, William R. Burleigh, 72, will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors. Burleigh, who served as president and chief executive officer of the company for five years, has been chairman of the board since 1999.

At Scripps Networks Interactive, the new company that will be created in the separation, Kenneth W. Lowe, 57, will be chairman of the board and Nicholas B. Paumgarten, 62, will be the company's lead independent director.

Lowe, who also will serve as president and chief executive officer of Scripps Networks Interactive, has been president and chief executive officer of The E. W. Scripps Company since 2000. Paumgarten, chairman of Corsair Capital LLC, has served on the Scripps board since the company's initial public offering in 1988.

In addition to the top board positions, Scripps also has appointed members of the management teams in the finance, human resources, legal and information technology areas of both companies.

The following will be members of the management team at The E.W. Scripps Company:

  • Mary Denise Kuprionis, 51, will be vice president/corporate secretary and will take on additional responsibilities as the company's chief ethics and compliance officer. Kuprionis, an attorney, was elected a vice president of the company in 2001. She joined Scripps in 1978 and in 1987, as corporate secretary, was the first woman elected as an officer of the company.
  • Lisa A. Knutson, 42, currently vice president of human resources operations, will become senior vice president of human resources. Knutson joined Scripps in 2005, coming from Fifth Third Bank, where she was vice president of human resources operations and chief financial officer for the bank's human resources department.
  • Douglas F. Lyons, 50, presently vice president of finance and administration for the Scripps Interactive Media division, will become the company's vice president and controller. Lyons has been at Scripps for 22 years and previously was the company's director of financial reporting.
  • Robert A. Carson, 51, now serving as executive director of enterprise information systems, will become vice president and chief information officer. Carson has been at Scripps for 18 years, during which time he managed a wide range of projects, including the selection, design and implementation of business systems for the company.
  • Michael T. Hales, 43, will become vice president of audit and compliance. He currently serves as director of controls and compliance. Hales has been with Scripps for 17 years and previously was finance director for the company's newspaper in Evansville, Ind.

All five will join the management team led by Richard A. Boehne, 51, who, as previously announced, will become president and chief executive officer of The E. W. Scripps Company when the transaction is completed.

The following will be members of the management team at Scripps Networks Interactive:

  • Joseph G. NeCastro, 50, will be the company's executive vice president and chief financial officer, and have additional operating responsibility for Shopzilla and uSwitch, the company's online comparison shopping services. NeCastro, who currently is executive vice president and chief financial officer for Scripps, joined the company in 2002. He previously was chief financial officer for Penton Media Inc. in Cleveland.
  • Anatolio B. Cruz III, 49, will be executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary. Cruz, currently executive vice president and general counsel for Scripps, joined the company in 2004, coming from Viacom's BET Holdings Inc., where he was vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary
  • Mark S. Hale, 49, will be the company's senior vice president, technology operations and chief technology officer. Hale joined the company in 1994 and was a member of the original management team that oversaw the launch of HGTV.
  • Jennifer L. Weber, 41, currently senior vice president of human resources for Scripps, will serve in the same capacity for the new company. Weber joined Scripps in 2005 after 12 years with Towers Perrin Human Resources Services, where she was a managing partner.
  • Lori A. Hickok, 44, will become senior vice president of finance, directing the company's accounting, reporting, tax and treasury functions. Hickok currently is serving as vice president and controller. She first joined Scripps in 1988 and has been controller since 2002.
  • Chad M. Boydston, 35, will become vice president and controller of the new company. Boydston joined Scripps in 2006 coming from Fifth Third Bancorp, where he was a vice president in the bank's internal audit division. He presently is director of financial reporting for Scripps.
  • Terry L. Smithers, 48, will become vice president of audit and compliance. Smithers currently is director of auditing and consulting services for Scripps. Smithers joined the company in 1985 as internal audit manager.

"We've spent a considerable amount of time building a strong management team at Scripps, which provides us with a particularly strong bench of leadership talent to draw from for both companies," Lowe said. "The appointment of these outstanding professionals to lead our corporate functions provides the framework we need to further assess the staffing needs and build qualified management teams for The E. W. Scripps Company and Scripps Networks Interactive."

The company's divisional leaders - Mark Contreras, senior vice president of newspapers, Bill Peterson, senior vice president of the television station group, John Lansing, president of Scripps Networks, and Doug Stern, president of United Media - will continue in their current roles.

Scripps announced in October that its board of directors had unanimously authorized management to pursue a plan to separate Scripps into two publicly traded companies, one focused on creating national lifestyle media brands and the other on building market-leading local media franchises.

The two companies that would exist after the separation would be:

  • The E. W. Scripps Company, which would include daily and community newspapers in 17 U.S. markets; 10 broadcast television stations clustered among the nation's largest 50 markets, including six ABC affiliates, three NBC affiliates and one independent station; the character licensing and feature syndication businesses operated by United Media; and Scripps Media Center in Washington D.C, which includes the Scripps Howard News Service. These businesses have combined annual revenue of about $1.1 billion and employ about 7,100 people.

 

  • Scripps Networks Interactive, which would consist of the national lifestyle media brands and associated enterprises that operate collectively as Scripps Networks, including television's HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, the Fine Living Television Network and Great American Country and their category-leading Internet businesses. The new company also would include online comparison shopping services Shopzilla and uSwitch and their associated Web sites. These businesses have combined annual revenue of approximately $1.4 billion and 2,100 employees.

The proposed separation would take the form of a tax-free dividend of stock in Scripps Networks Interactive distributed to all Scripps shareholders on a pro-rata basis. The separation is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2008.

In addition to approval of the final plan by the board of directors and approval by the holders of the company's Common Voting Shares, completion of the separation will be contingent upon a favorable ruling from the Internal Revenue Service on the tax-free nature of the transaction and the filing and effectiveness of a Form 10 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Scripps

The E. W. Scripps Company (www.scripps.com) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, interactive media, and licensing and syndication.

The company's portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country; daily and community newspapers in 17 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; Scripps Interactive Media, including leading online search and comparison shopping services, Shopzilla and uSwitch; and United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics.

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