Two weeks, two thousand miles, two floors

Perfect timing.

A Christmas/New Years two-week vacation is a most welcome break after a long, hectic and fruitful 2015, which saw The E. W. Scripps Company almost double the size of its TV station portfolio and, at the same time, build and develop innovative digital businesses.

My wife and kids and I will put a couple thousand miles on an SUV this holiday; Cincinnati to Tulsa to Dallas and back, seeing family and friends along the way. We’re most thankful for the freedom, time and resources to do this. My family has put up with my almost-weekly absences, so I’m happy for some quiet time with them.

The upside of the frequent-flyer beat in my 7 years at Scripps is getting to visit our local stations. I dropped in on all but two of our 23 news-producing local TV businesses in 2015. To see the work that our colleagues do every day to inform and engage their local community, to see the businesses that we’re building and rebuilding to keep our company’s light alive, to help grow leaders that will see Scripps into the next generation, it’s all inspiring and humbling. Everywhere I travel, I see huge market challenges and business opportunities, but I also see talent and leadership at every turn working to solve the challenges and seize the opportunities. I’ve hired 12 local digital leaders this year (looking for one more now!); they’re well equipped to lead and grow our businesses in 2016 and beyond.

When I return to Cincinnati just before the New Year, I will move my belongings two floors down in our company headquarters, from the “digital floor” to the “TV floor”. My new job, “National Director, News Recruitment,” will await me there. I’ll be scouting news leadership talent around the country, inside and outside our company, to fill open positions and prepare for future openings. I get to serve our company by recruiting and developing our next generation of news leaders, and I get to serve our industry by helping inspirational, innovative, engaged journalists advance their careers. Finally, every day I will get to evangelize on behalf of Scripps, which has always been my favorite part of all my jobs in my 7 years in this company.

More about this in the coming days. I can’t wait to share with you what Scripps means to me, and I certainly want to show you what it can mean to you, too. Our company’s CEO, Rich Boehne, says a Scripps career is an adventure. The next chapter in the Scripps story will be written by us.

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