Scripps names executives for post-separation companies

Tue, January 22, 2008 by Tim Stautberg

CINCINNATI - The E. W. Scripps Company, which intends to separate into two publicly traded corporations this summer, has named additional members of the management teams that will lead the media businesses after the transaction is completed.

The two companies that would result from the separation are:

  • The E. W. Scripps Company, which would include daily and community newspapers, local broadcast television stations, the United Media licensing and syndication business, and Scripps Howard News Service, and
  • Scripps Networks Interactive, which would consist of the national lifestyle media brands that operate collectively as Scripps Networks, as well as online comparison shopping services Shopzilla and uSwitch.

Two of the appointments announced today involve The E. W. Scripps Company. John Wolfzorn, 62, the vice president and treasurer, will continue to hold that position after the separation. He joined the company in 1973 as a financial analyst, was promoted to assistant treasurer in 1975 and was named treasurer in 1979. In 2002, his role was expanded to included greater financial management duties when he was promoted to vice president.

David Giles, 47, will become deputy general counsel. He was named associate general counsel in 2004 after working for 10 years as an associate with the law firm of Baker & Hostetler. While with the firm, he represented nationally known media clients such as FOX Television and Granite Broadcasting Co.

Four senior leaders were named to the management team at Scripps Networks Interactive:

  • John Viterisi, 49, will be vice president, tax, the same title he now holds at The E. W. Scripps Company. He joined Scripps in 2007 after three years as director of tax at Cintas Corporation. He previously had served with Stryker Corporation and Arthur Andersen LLP.
  • Mary Ray, 39, will assume the role of deputy general counsel and assistant corporate secretary. She joined Scripps as an associate general counsel in 2006 after six years with Cincinnati Bell as corporate counsel and assistant corporate secretary. Ray previously practiced at two Kentucky law firms, Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC and Schletker Hornbeck and Moore.
  • Mark Schuermann, 36, currently assistant treasurer at Scripps, will be vice president and treasurer of Scripps Networks Interactive. Schuermann started at Scripps in 1998 as a senior auditor and was promoted to director of treasury management in 2002.
  • Julie Elliott, 48, will be vice president of compensation and benefits. She has been the corporate compensation director at Scripps since 2003, and previously was a principal with Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Elliott has more than two decades of experience working with compensation and benefits issues.

"Today's announcement adds six distinguished names to the growing list of talented executives who will lead these organizations," said Kenneth W. Lowe, the president and chief executive officer of The E. W. Scripps Company, who will become the chairman, president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive after the separation. "I'm confident that the contributions made by these seasoned leaders will significantly help both companies as they blaze new trails of media excellence."

In October, the board of directors unanimously authorized management to pursue a plan separating Scripps into two companies - one focused on creating national lifestyle media brands and the other on building market-leading local media franchises. Completion of the separation will be contingent upon a favorable ruling from the Internal Revenue Service on the tax-free nature of the transaction, the filing and effectiveness of a Form 10 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and final approval by the board of directors and holders of the company's Common Voting Shares.

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.

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 16 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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