Scripps CEO Speaks On New Media Age

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On Wednesday, President and CEO of the E.W. Scripps Company Richard A. Boehne offered the keynote address of the "Creating the Future: Managing the Media in a Digital Age" conference.

The conference drew regional and national leaders in media together to share and debate the challenges and opportunities for firms operating in fast-moving media markets.
Boehne opened by discussing his own background, newspapers and media, and the history of the E.W. Scripps Company.
He said Scripps is "still a place where the creatives are the most honored in the organization."
The need to maintain quality content throughout the evolution and metamorphosis of media was a recurring theme in Boehne's lecture. He showed a chart illustrating the company's many ventures and how long they had lasted. The ones that remained consistent were those that produced news-making content.
In the constantly evolving technological marketplace of ideas, constituent upgrading is necessary to stay afloat.
"We do try to train people to transition to new businesses," said Boehne. "A lot of people do it."
In addition to speaking toward his successes, he also spoke to the importance of failure.
Boehne shared a story where a man had asked him how he got his current position as president and CEO.
"I told him I got it by being about 51 percent right."
He said that failures were part of the evolution of the company. And, because the E.W. Scripps Company does not carry any debt, it allows them to be more entrepreneurial. That spirit allowed them to jump into cable television when the concept of paying for programming was still unfamiliar.
Today, according to Boehne, cable has a 90 percent penetration rate. Scripps currently owns HGTV, a popular cable station that features home and garden programming.
The same entrepreneurial spirit will drive them in online expansion, he said.
"I think the winner here is free speech," said Boehne. "I think this is the day that people like old man Scripps prayed for."