Adam Symson, spring 2023 convocation keynote speaker

Scripps CEO to deliver Cronkite School convocation speech

Friday, April 21, 2023


Adam Symson, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company, will deliver the keynote address at the Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Spring 2023 convocation.

Symson is credited with leading the transformation of Scripps into a major diversified media company whose journalism and entertainment brands reach American households throughout the country while implementing a number of initiatives designed to expand the company’s reach. 

The convocation will mark a return to the Valley for Symson, who first joined Scripps in 2002 as an executive producer of investigations and special projects for ABC15, the company’s affiliate in Phoenix.

“Adam Symson is regarded as one of the most forward thinking leaders in our industry. His initiatives at The E.W. Scripps Company have allowed it to grow into one of the most prolific media companies in the country,” said Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. “We look forward to Adam sharing his experiences, wisdom and expertise with our students.”

Symson led the acquisition of ION Media in 2021, spurring the creation of a new Scripps Networks national broadcast television network division and oversaw the expansion of Scripps’ local television station holdings. He also appointed the company’s first chief diversity officer in 2018 and has been credited with promoting diversity and inclusion on the company board and in its workforce.

Symson previously served as Scripps’ chief operating officer, leading the company’s broadcast TV, radio and digital media divisions. He also has worked as chief digital officer; head of operations, content and revenue for the TV division’s interactive businesses; and director of content and marketing for the Scripps interactive media division, which spun off into Scripps Networks Interactive in 2008. 

He has also worked as an investigative journalist for WBBM in Chicago, and KCBS, KNBC and KCAL in Los Angeles before joining Scripps in Phoenix. In addition, he was an independent producer for CBS News and NBC News. Symson has a bachelor’s degree in communications from UCLA.

“I’m grateful to ASU for inviting me to address the outstanding journalism graduates as they move on to the formative stages of their careers, many in our newsrooms,” said Symson. “The opportunity to come back to Phoenix, where I first joined Scripps, makes this even more special.”

Symson serves on the boards of directors for Cincinnati’s Holocaust & Humanity Center, the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press and The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati.

He has been recognized by The Library of American Broadcasting Foundation as a Giant of Broadcasting in 2022; the National Association of Broadcasters with a Digital Leadership Award in 2016; Borrell’s Award of Merit in 2014; and by Broadcasting & Cable as the Multiplatform Broadcaster of the Year in 2011.

The Cronkite School convocation ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Friday, May 12 at Desert Financial Arena, 600 E. Veterans Way in Tempe. The convocation will celebrate the accomplishments of nearly 400 graduates who are expected to receive their diplomas.