New chief strengthens investigative reporting focus of the Scripps Washington bureau
Fri, January 18, 2013 by Tim King
Ellen Weiss, an accomplished journalist and successful news executive, will take charge of The E.W. Scripps Company’s multimedia news bureau in Washington, D.C., effective February 11, 2013.
As vice president and bureau chief, Weiss will oversee a growing team of investigative reporters whose stories appear in all Scripps television, newspaper and digital markets, plus guide the company’s daily national coverage and manage the Scripps Howard News Service.
Weiss joins Scripps from The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization, where she was the executive editor in charge of strategic planning and investigative journalism. She was instrumental in the story selection, editing, publishing and distribution of original investigative journalism. Through her leadership, the organization’s content crossed multiple platforms to reach audiences online and on major print, broadcast and digital outlets.
Before joining the nonpartisan organization in 2011, she enjoyed a transformative and successful career with National Public Radio. During her tenure, which spanned nearly 30 years, she was at the forefront of news coverage and investigations that touched many corners of the world. From early beginnings as a production assistant, she spent nearly two decades on the critically acclaimed “All Things Considered” program before spending five years as the supervising senior editor of NPR’s national desk. In 2007 she was named senior vice president of NPR, overseeing the entire news organization of 400 domestic and international journalists.
Weiss spearheaded the conversion of NPR’s newsroom from an exclusively broadcast production to one that is now multimedia. She directed the global expansion of NPR reporting and the creation of award-winning programs and news coverage. Her guidance resulted in significant audience growth, increased philanthropic support and numerous awards for journalistic excellence.
“Scripps has long been, and will continue to be, deeply committed to investigative reporting , both locally and nationally, for TV, print and digital audiences,” said Rich Boehne, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company. “Ellen Weiss brings years of experience that will help further strengthen our journalistic voice at a time when our audiences crave quality and integrity. All Scripps markets will benefit from the investigations and community-changing journalism that we expect from our Washington team through Weiss’ leadership.”
Unlike many peer companies in the industry, Scripps is forging ahead with its strategy to more extensively cover the nation’s capital and national topics. Investigations and data research by Scripps are cited in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court and are leading to legislative changes. These actions are a testament to the company’s mission to serve communities. The company expanded the staff in 2012 to fully implement a video journalism team that now creates video content uniquely structured to appeal to different audiences on different digital platforms.
The bureau traces its roots to 1917, when the company’s founder, Edward W. Scripps, established a headquarters in Washington to direct the company’s support of American war efforts. With the advent of World War II, the bureau added international reporting responsibilities, most famously embodied by legendary Scripps war correspondent Ernie Pyle, who died in April 1945 while embedded with combat troops on the Pacific Island of Iejima. The bureau today serves 18 of the top 20 markets in the United States. The combined daily circulation of its clients exceeds 22 million.
Weiss is a high-profile lecturer and guest speaker on subjects related to media and the press, and she has been recognized with numerous national journalism awards, including Peabodys and Murrows. She replaces Peter Copeland, who, after a long career with Scripps, is transitioning to the role of consulting editor.
Scripps (www.scripps.com) is a leading media enterprise driven to develop and expand its digital strategies while embracing its rich history in delivering quality journalism through television stations, newspapers and the Scripps Howard News Service. Creative, talented and energetic employees are leading the way at 19 television stations and in 13 newspaper markets. The Scripps digital group is growing and gaining momentum with new product offerings, enhancements, and technology that gives customers more options than ever before to find the information and entertainment they crave.