Scripps ‘Consolidates’ News Leadership Under O’Brian


CINCINNATI — The E.W. Scripps Company has selected Kate O’Brian to fill the newly created role of President/News.

With this promotion, O’Brian is now responsible for all news operations across Scripps’ local media stations, Scripps News and Court TV.

The change in responsibilities, says Scripps, allows the company’s local and national news operations “to align more closely in editorial strategy,” something seen across Scripps’ local newscasts across various markets in recent months as part of an extensive restructuring effort carried out by the company.

Commenting on the new role for O’Brian, Scripps President/CEO Adam Symson said, “Kate O’Brian is a skilled executive and journalist who embodies our responsibility to serve American audiences nationally and locally. This new structure puts oversight for the entire company’s news and editorial strategy under her leadership. Scripps will maintain locally run, locally focused newsrooms serving each of our local markets, and at the same time we will coordinate our local and national reporting for the benefit of all our audiences, including for Scripps News’ network.”

O’Brian joined Scripps in 2021 to lead Newsy and Court TV and serve as the architect for Scripps News, merging the company’s local and national news resources into a national news division.

“Over the past few years, Scripps’ local and national news operations have demonstrated the powerful impact of combining deep community expertise with national context and reach,” O’Brian said. “This structure will allow our local news and Scripps News teams to harness their combined strengths to deliver even more high-impact political reporting, severe weather, breaking news coverage and other stories important to our audiences in any market.”

With O’Brian now serving as News President, the following leaders will report to her as follows:

  • Christina Hartman, VP and head of Scripps News, will lead the network. She has been serving as head of news standards for Scripps News and Court TV. Previously, she was VP of network predecessor Newsy.
  • Ethan Nelson, VP and head of Court TV, will continue in her role
  • The VP and head of Local News is a new, open role. This individual will oversee Scripps’ local news content strategy alongside O’Brian and work closely with SVP/Local Media Dean Littleton to execute the content strategy along with the news initiative for our local news teams.

Prior to joining Scripps, O’Brian was a longtime ABC news executive who, among many other roles, served as head of affiliate news services and worked closely with 200 local stations. O’Brian also was the first woman to run a 24/7 cable news organization when she was appointed president at Al Jazeera America.