KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Scripps Networks Interactive, the global leader in lifestyle media, has appointed Suzanne Underwald to a newly created role as Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Content Distribution & Marketing.
Underwald, who was previously Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs, will play a key role in overseeing and negotiating Scripps Networks Interactive’s distribution agreements for its linear networks. In addition, she will lead the team responsible for new media distribution partnerships and digital syndication, and oversee digital client fulfillment and operations.
She will report to Scripps Networks Interactive’s Chief Legal Officer Cynthia Gibson, and to Henry Ahn, President of Content Distribution & Marketing.
“Sue’s legal and commercial acumen has been central to our continued success in content distribution negotiations since she joined the company,” said Gibson. “Her experience and strong understanding of the fast-developing content ecosystem will be critical as we continue to expand our reach in the United States through new and traditional platforms.”
“Sue has been an essential partner in negotiating complex deals in a fast changing content distribution environment,” adds Ahn. “She is respected by our partners across the sector, and I look forward to working alongside her to continue to expand Scripps Networks’ reach onto new and innovative platforms.”
Underwald joined Scripps Networks Interactive in 2012, as lead attorney for the company’s Content Distribution and Marketing group, which manages all of the distribution partnerships for Scripps’ portfolio of lifestyle brands – HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country (GAC). She has played an important role in the negotiation and completion of Scripps Networks’ agreements with linear distribution partners, as well as in the company’s TV Everywhere and over-the-top offerings.
She previously spent more than 17 years with Dow Lohnes, PLLC in Washington, D.C., where she was a partner in the firm’s Media and Information Technologies practice group. While there, she represented major entertainment and media companies on intellectual property and licensing and distribution matters, with a focus on cable affiliation agreements, digital media distribution contracts, and technology licenses.
In addition to being one of the principal outside attorneys for several cable operators in negotiating their network affiliation agreements, Sue represented companies in the formation of strategic cable television and entertainment joint ventures, including acting as the lead intellectual property and content distribution attorney representing Harpo in the creation of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network and Hasbro in its purchase of a 50 percent stake in Discovery Kids Network.
Sue is an active member and past Chapter President of Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). She earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. and her bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
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