SVP, Legal Affairs, Scripps Networks Interactive
Underwald was promoted to an expanded hybrid role this year, and she now not only heads up Scripps’ distribution legal team but also leads the business team that develops and negotiates the company’s digital distribution deals with companies including Amazon, Apple, Google/YouTube and Snapchat. To boot, she was lead attorney and a key member of the negotiation team on Scripps’ recent renewal of its distribution deal with AT&T/DirecTV, under which Scripps granted both traditional distribution rights and the rights to include the Scripps services in the upcoming DirecTV Now product. The biggest cable story this year? “The growing rise of the ‘virtual MVPD’ and other OTT offerings,” she says.
Which sector of the cable industry best demonstrates gender equality? Which could use some enlightenment?
I feel very lucky to have entered the cable industry via the legal field, which is a sector in which our industry has seen a great number of successful, smart women. I think the same is true of finance and programming. One of the things I am so very proud of working at Scripps is the fact that the company’s chief financial officer, chief legal officer and chief programming officer are all amazing female leaders. In terms of where the industry could improve, I would like to see more women leaders in the tech sectors of our industry.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Relax a little more and don’t worry so much! Things have a way of working out the way they should (and, by the way, it all turns out pretty great).
What’s been the biggest story in cable this year?
The growing rise of the “virtual MVPD” and other OTT offerings. Sling and Sony Vue are more established in the marketplace. And DIRECTV Now, as well as the reported OTT offerings from Hulu, YouTube and Amazon, are all just around the corner. Our industry is undergoing a major shift in how viewers consume and engage with video content.