Scripps Reorganizes Leadership with Journal Merger

Scripps is shuffling around some suits at the top of the food chain as it prepares to close on their merger with Journal Communications.

Here is the internal memo, obtained by FTVLive that went out to the staff from Brian Lawlor, Senior VP of Television for Scripps:

To: TV employees
From: Brian Lawlor
Date: Jan. 21
Subject: TV division organizational announcements

In the next several months we expect to close on the merger with Journal Communications broadcast operations, which will make Scripps the fifth-largest independent TV company in America. We will operate 34 TV stations in 24 of America’s best media markets. In addition, we will also add 34 radio stations in eight radio markets to our company’s portfolio. 

As our broadcast footprint more than doubles, we have spent several months discussing the best way to run our stations with the goals of growing our broadcast and digital audiences while maximizing the revenue created in each market. We have completed the model for our organizational structure and have several key appointments to announce.

First, I am pleased to announce that Debbie Turner has accepted the newly created position of vice president, TV operations. Debbie now leads the TV operations at Journal Communications. Her deep industry knowledge and her understanding of the stations that will soon be a part of Scripps will be a great asset for us. Debbie will report to me.

Steve Wexler has been named vice president, radio, reporting to me. Steve now leads the radio group for Journal Communications.

To support our 24 local TV markets, we will have four divisional general managers to provide direct oversight to our GMs at these local stations. These four divisional GMs will report to Debbie Turner. Michael O'Brien will expand his role as a divisional GM to multiple stations while still overseeing our division's sales strategy. Steve Wasserman, Jeff Block and Ed Fernandez will also continue to serve as divisional GMs.

To support our sales leadership in our 24 TV markets, we will introduce two senior directors of sales, who will report to Michael O’Brien. These positions will collaborate with the local markets to help them achieve overall revenue growth.

Finally, Sean McLaughlin, vice president, news, will also add a fourth senior director of news strategy, joining Lana Durban, Cameryn Beck and Bill Siegel.

Across the company today, many departments – including ones that support our division -- are making announcements about how they are structured. Later this afternoon, take a look at Rich’s video on WorkLife for more information.

We’ll share more updates as we approach a close date on the deal with Journal Communications. If you have questions about any of these, please reach out to your manager.