Scripps Media Center Launches

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By: Dave Astor

The Scripps Media Center (SMC) has been launched as an umbrella organization for various Scripps divisions. Also, several new products are being offered.

SMC — based in Washington, D.C. — combines the output of Scripps newspapers, Scripps Howard News Service (SHNS), Scripps-McClatchy Western Service (SMWS), Web sites, broadcast TV stations, and cable networks including Home & Garden Television (HGTV), the Food Network (FN), Fine Living, and DIY (which stands for “do it yourself”).

“Scripps Media Center is the content hub of Scripps,” said Peter Copeland, editor and general manager of SHNS. Copeland told E&P that SMC’s formation is another example of a media company reorganizing to reflect convergence of print, TV, online, and more. He added that SHNS (marketed by United Media) and other Scripps units that have now become part of SMC will continue to exist.

Among the new products:

— Magazines, drawn from HGTV and FN content, that started in Scripps newspapers last year and will be made available to non-Scripps papers.

— Eight newspaper special sections — also drawn from Scripps TV content — that began rolling out this January.

— Spanish-language newspaper content that’s currently being tested. Scripps has already been producing a publication aimed at Verizon’s Spanish-language customers.

What’s now called SMC has added a couple of positions since last year, but it’s restructuring mostly with existing personnel. SMC Managing Editor Karen Timmons has organized the operation into five teams: news, special sections, visuals, magazines, and business.

News — led by Pamela Reeves — includes regional and national reporters, SHNS, and SMWS. Special sections and “Feature Front” paginated pages are headed by Wanita Niehaus. The visuals department, which includes photography and design, is led by Dayna Elefant. Gina Gonzales continues as director of marketing and also leads the magazine department. Michael Zamba runs business.

Walter Veazey was named senior editor for SMC. The new editor for “HGTV Ideas” magazine is Jennifer Sergent. And Pete Turnbull becomes an editor for all departments.

SMC reports to Alan Horton, senior vice president/newspapers for the E.W. Scripps Co.

Scripps first opened a Washington office in 1917.

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