Scripps Makes Changes To Top Management

The moves follow Adam Symson’s move to president-CEO earlier this month. The moves are promotions for Brian Lawlor, Laura Tomlin, Lisa Knutson, Tim Wesolowski and William Appleton.

Adam Symson, who became president-CEO of The E.W. Scripps Co. on Aug. 8, today made the following leadership changes:

  • Senior Vice President, Broadcast Brian Lawlor is now president, Local Media
  • Vice President, Digital Operations Laura Tomlin is now SVP, National Media
  • Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer Lisa Knutson is now EVP, chief strategy officer
  • Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Tim Wesolowski and Senior Vice President, General Counsel William Appleton are now EVPs

In addition to the company’s 33 television stations and 34 radio stations, Lawlor will be responsible for the stations’ local digital operations beginning Jan. 1. He also will be responsible for the four Katz multicast networks. The acquisition of those networks is expected to be complete on Oct. 2.

Tomlin is responsible for next-generation national news network Newsy; podcast industry leader Midroll and listening service Stitcher; satire and humor brand Cracked; and lifestyle brand SimpleMost as well as the award-winning Scripps Washington Bureau, with its national investigative reporting team and podcast productions.

Knutson is taking over corporate development in addition to her current responsibilities.

“With more choices than ever, today’s media consumers move across different distribution platforms seamlessly, choosing where they want to engage based on how well media brands inform and entertain them. To better align with the way our audiences and advertisers see our businesses, we are positioning the company with a managerial structure built around these local and national marketplaces,” said Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson. “Our local brands are well positioned on multiple platforms to deepen the relationships we’ve had in our markets, some going back more than 50 years. Our national businesses are growing quickly, achieving the scale necessary to be meaningful players in the national media landscape.”

Executive Bios


Symson succeeded Rich Boehne as president and CEO on Aug. 8. Prior to that, he served as chief operating officer, overseeing the company’s broadcast TV, radio and digital media divisions. Symson had been chief digital officer, responsible for Scripps digital businesses in Scripps local markets and with its national brands. Prior to that post, he oversaw the operation, content and revenue for the TV division’s interactive businesses. He also led content and marketing for the Scripps interactive media division (which was spun off into Scripps Networks Interactive in 2008). He joined the company’s corporate operation in 2003 as director of investigations and special projects for the TV group. He has a bachelor’s in communications from UCLA.

Lawlor runs the company’s television and radio divisions. Since 2009, he has overseen the rapid growth of Scripps’ broadcasting assets from 10 TV stations in 2009 to 33 TV stations and 34 radio stations today. In 2012, Broadcasting & Cable Magazine named him “Television Broadcaster of the Year” and one of the “80 Most Influential People in Television.” He has been the driving force in the successful launch of Scripps national programming. He serves as chairman of the ABC Board of Governors. He is the former television board chairman for the National Association of Broadcasters and the former president and chairman of the NBC Affiliates Board. He holds a bachelor’s degree from King’s College and an MBA from the University of Miami, Florida.

As vice president of digital business operations, Tomlin has been responsible for executing the strategic digital agenda for Scripps’ local brands in partnership with the television division. Her responsibilities have included working with leaders in all divisions to ensure success and consistency across the digital platforms. In addition to these responsibilities, she led the strategic direction for Cracked and has worked closely with the leaders of Newsy since its acquisition. She has served on the digital division’s senior leadership team since its inception, creating the human resources function for the division and then moving into a leadership role in operations. Tomlin joined Scripps in 2010 to launch internal recruiting to support the enterprise. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame.

As chief administrative officer, Knutson has led strategic planning for the company’s growing portfolio of television, radio and digital media brands and manages company-wide functions including consumer insights, human resources, information technology, outsourcing governance, project management, corporate communications and The Scripps National Spelling Bee. Prior to that role, she served as senior vice president of human resources. She has a bachelor’s in accountancy from Miami University.

Wesolowski oversees the company’s accounting, finance, treasury, tax, procurement and risk management functions. He previously spent six years with Cincinnati-based Convergys Corporation, starting as its treasurer before being promoted to senior vice president finance, controller and treasurer. He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Purdue University.

Appleton joined Scripps in May 2008, and since then has led the legal team in many acquisitions and other transactions, including the spin-off and merger of the Scripps newspaper business with the newspaper business of Journal Communications and the subsequent acquisition by merger of the Journal Communications broadcast television and radio businesses. He graduated from New York University Law School and began his career in 1978 with the law firm Baker Hostetler LLP. He opened the firm’s Cincinnati office in 1997, and served as the partner-in-charge from January 2002 to May 2008.

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