Cindy McConkey combines a strong background in journalism and public relations consulting in directing the Corporate Communications group for Scripps Networks Interactive, the company behind the popular lifestyle networks HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country (GAC). Her role involves the development and supervision of strategic, integrated communications programs for Scripps Networks Interactive including media relations, social responsibility, employee communications, government relations, speakers’ bureau, event marketing and presentations. In addition, she supports the company in regard to financial communications and business media matters.
McConkey joined Scripps after a distinguished, 15-year tenure as a public relations and marketing consultant serving clients such as Club Corporation of America, BellSouth, Whittle Communications, Pizza Hut, Mead Paper, Carrier Corporation, Comcast Cable, Rohm and Haas Company and many others. A journalist by training, McConkey was a reporter at USA TODAY in Washington, D.C., establishing herself as one of the first female journalists to cover the national sports scene. Her past experience also includes writing for Gannett News Service and the Associated Press, among other publications. While working for Gannett, McConkey received a national award for investigative reporting from the Associated Press Sports Editors Association. During that time, she was also named a Woman of Achievement by the University of Tennessee.
Since joining Scripps, her work has earned numerous awards including first-place honors for the company’s employee newsletter and DIY Network media kits from the League of America Communications Professionals, New England Cable and Telecommunications Association Public Service Awards for DIY Network’s Lending a Hand initiative, HGTV’s Restore America: A Salute to Preservation and the Cable In The Classroom Program relating to the HGTV’s “Homes of the Underground Railroad.” The DIY Network-Habitat public affairs partnership earned an Award of Excellence from the Cable Television Association of Marketers. The community outreach initiatives she directs also have been honored by the Urban League, Goodwill Industries and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Most recently, McConkey was named one of the CableFAX’s Most Powerful Women in Cable.
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., McConkey served for three years on the Scripps-Howard Foundation Board of Trustees and is a board member for the University of Tennessee’s College of Communications’ Board of Visitors, Leadership Knoxville, Knoxville YWCA and Tech 2020. Honored as a member of the 2008-09 Princeton Premier Business Leaders and Professionals, McConkey also serves on the planning committees for the Women in Cable Television Leadership Conference and is a current member of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. In 2011, Cindy joined the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls to spearhead an industry-wide commitment to promote positive images of girls and women in the media.
Previously, McConkey was a Governor’s appointee to the Tennessee Board of Economic Growth and sat on the boards for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Knoxville, the Bijou Theater and the University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Advisory Board. She has been active in the Society of Professional Journalists, American Marketing Association and the Public Relations Society of America.
McConkey is a graduate of the University of Tennessee’s College of Communications and also has completed CTAM University, an executive program at Harvard Business School, as well as numerous leadership programs.