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HGTV Founder to Receive Honorary Degree at CCI Commencement

Ken Lowe

Ken Lowe, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc., will receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Tennessee at the College of Communication and Information’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony on May 11 at 3:30 p.m. in Thompson Boling Arena. Lowe will also deliver the commencement speech to the graduates.

“We are honored to present Ken Lowe with the 15th honorary degree ever awarded by the University of Tennessee and to have him address our graduates,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “His visionary leadership, innovative spirit, outstanding accomplishments and strong commitment to diversity serve as an inspiration to our faculty and students. We greatly appreciate the opportunities and support he and Scripps Networks Interactive have provided to CCI and UT over the years.”

Previously, Lowe was President and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company from 2000 until 2008, when Scripps Networks Interactive became a separate, publicly traded company.

Prior to 2000, Lowe was Chairman and CEO of Knoxville-based Scripps Networks. He built the company into one of the world's fastest growing and most successful creators of unique brands for television and the Internet. He founded and launched HGTV in 1994; oversaw the acquisition and transformation of the Food Network into an American pop culture icon; presided over the launches of the DIY Network and the Cooking Channel as well as the acquisitions of the Travel Channel in 2009 and Great American Country television network in 2004. Since 2009, he has directed the company’s rapid expansion as a global media company, including the 2015 acquisition of Poland’s premier multi-platform and multi-channel media company, TVN. Lowe also guided the development of the company’s growing portfolio of interactive content services in the food and home lifestyle categories. The company’s media businesses now collectively engage more than 190 million consumers worldwide each month.

Lowe joined Scripps in 1980 as General Manager of the company's radio properties. In 1988, he became Vice President of Programming, Promotion and Marketing for the company's nine network-affiliated television stations.

He began his career in radio with Southern Broadcasting in 1969 and continued with various management positions in radio and television with Harte-Hanks Broadcasting in the late 1970s.

Lowe, who was recently inducted into The Cable Hall of Fame, serves on the Board of Directors for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, The Paley Center for Media and The Cable Center. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in radio, television and motion pictures from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This is the third UT Honorary Doctorate awarded at a CCI commencement ceremony. The two previous recipients were civil rights pioneer and social activist Marian Wright Edelman (2015) and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and science journalist, John Noble Wilford (BS/JEM ’55)(2014).