Scripps Names Katz National Networks COO
E.W. Scripps today appointed television industry veteran Jonathan Katz as chief operating officer and head of entertainment for its new national television networks business.
Katz will report to Lisa Knutson, who Scripps previously announced will lead the newly combined businesses of Ion Media, the Katz networks and Newsy. Both appointments will be effective upon the close of Scripps’ acquisition of Ion Media.
Katz is founder, president and chief executive officer of the Katz networks, which Scripps acquired in 2017. In his new role, Katz will have responsibility for the networks’ entertainment brands including Bounce, Laff, Grit, Court TV Mystery and the Ion networks as well as Brown Sugar and “The List.” He will have additional oversight of revenue, research, marketing and programming for the entire portfolio of Scripps’ national networks.
After starting the Bounce network in 2011 as the nation’s first-ever over-the-air broadcast television network dedicated to serving African-American audiences, he founded the Katz networks in 2014, expanding the portfolio to several additional niche-targeted over-the-air networks.
In his current role, Katz has steered the multi-platform networks’ year-over-year growth, outperforming expectations and delivering over-the-air audience growth while spearheading strategic launches of new networks, including the relaunch of the Court TV network in 2019, its expansion into the United Kingdom this year and the development of true crime-focused Court TV Mystery.
Knutson said: “With his many years of experience in launching, growing and expanding some of the country’s most-watched networks and leading best-in-class teams to fuel growth and innovation, Jonathan has proven time and time again his ability to anticipate and super-serve consumers’ diverse and evolving interests. Jonathan is a tremendous asset to Scripps as we bring our national networks businesses together to capture the momentum of over-the-air audience growth and multiplatform TV viewing.”
Katz’s career includes leadership roles at some of the country’s top television networks. Before founding the Katz networks, he was senior vice president and general manager of program planning and acquisitions for all of the Turner Entertainment Networks including TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and TCM, including acquisitions work for the original Court TV and The WB broadcast network.
Additionally, Katz oversaw the re-branding and relaunch of WTBS in Atlanta as WPCH/Peachtree TV and led all aspects of the station’s operations as general manager.
Before joining Turner’s Entertainment Group in 2000, he was vice president of marketing for CNN Newsource.
Katz launched his career in local TV with roles in programming, advertising, publicity, promotion, production and news at WTOG Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.; WJZY Charlotte, N.C.; WDBB Birmingham, Ala.; and WCFT Tuscaloosa, Ala.