Cindy McConkey combines a strong background in journalism and public relations consulting in directing the Corporate Communications Group for Scripps Networks, the company behind the popular lifestyle networks HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel and music network Great American Country (GAC). Her role involves development and supervision of strategic, integrated communications programs for Scripps Networks, including media relations, public affairs, speakers’ bureau, employee communications, event marketing and presentations. In addition, she supports Scripps Networks Interactive in regard to financial communications and business media matters relating to Scripps Networks.
McConkey joined Scripps Networks 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 also was named a Woman of Achievement by the University of Tennessee.
Since joining Scripps Networks, her work has earned numerous awards including first-place honors for the company’s employee newsletter and DIY media kits from the League of America Communications Professionals, New England Cable and Telecommunications Association Public Service Awards for DIY’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-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.
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., McConkey served for three years on the Scripps-Howard Foundation Board of Trustees and currently is a board member of Knoxville’s YWCA and University of Tennessee’s College of Communications’ Board of Visitors. Honored as a member of the 2008-2009 Princeton Premier Business Leaders and Professionals, McConkey also serves on the planning committees for the Women in Cable Television Leadership Conference and the NCTA National Cable Show. She is a current member of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. Previously, McConkey was a Governor’s appointee to the Tennessee Board of Economic Growth and sat on the boards for Leadership Knoxville, 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 business program at Harvard Business School.