Scripps creates venture fund

Tue, August 26, 1997 by Rich Boehne

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The E.W. Scripps Company today announced the creation of a $50 million venture fund that will focus on media-related enterprises."Scripps Ventures will be a vehicle with the latitude to uncover significant opportunities for growth," said William R. Burleigh, Scripps president and chief executive officer. "Our goal is to identify new areas of long-term development for Scripps while generating attractive returns."By design, Scripps Ventures will invest in opportunities outside the Company’s current core businesses, which include newspapers, television stations, television programming units, a cable network, and United Media – a licensing and syndication subsidiary.Douglas R. Stern, president and chief executive officer of United Media, has been given the additional responsibilities of president and chief executive officer of Scripps Ventures. "We believe there are significant business opportunities in the media and education markets," said Stern. "We are looking for organizations that have strong management talent, powerful brands or brand potential, and solid distribution channels."The fund’s initial focus will be on enterprises in the areas of: · educational media for professional, corporate and consumer audiences, · direct and affinity marketing, and · new media formats.Scripps initiated this effort with an investment in Patient Education Media, Inc., in late 1995. Operating under the brand name Time Life Medical, the company was formed to create patient-education products under the direction of former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D., chairman and medical director. Time Life Medical has produced 30 video programs describing serious medical conditions and their treatments. The videos are receiving nationwide print and broadcast advertising support and are available in local drugstores.Scripps Ventures, which will operate as a freestanding subsidiary of The E.W. Scripps Company, will seek minority positions, joint ventures, start-ups and acquisition opportunities.