Discovery Communications announced Tuesday it will move its National Operations Headquarters to Knoxville once it finalizes its $14.6 billion purchase of Scripps Networks Interactive.
The company made the announcement Tuesday as part of a major shake-up of its real estate strategy. The company said the current Scripps Knoxville campus will soon house the company's newly established National Operations Headquarters alongside the major Scripps brands, digital teams and corporate functions currently working there.
Discovery said the compelling environment and infrastructure of Knoxville, along with the city's low cost of living and amenities were part of the reason it chose to move into the Scripps Knoxville campus.
The plan is set to go into motion once the company finalizes its purchase of Scripps, which it announced at the end of July 2017.
The company is closing its main Silver Spring, Md. Global Headquarters and will move it to New York City, which will also bring other Scripps employees located across several facilities in NYC under one roof in the second half of 2019. To clarify, the Global HQ move is separate from the establishment of the National Operations Headquarters in Knoxville, and will not relocate the majority of the Knoxville Campus Scripps employees.
The company said its media facility in Sterling, Virginia will become a global technology center in the near future, and it plans to develop its "technology footprint" into Knoxville as well.
Discovery said it collaborated with state and local government authorities in both Tennessee throughout the decision-making process.
“Scripps has long been a major economic driver and source of great jobs in our region, and the fact that Discovery Communications plans to locate its national operations headquarters here is more proof that East Tennessee is a wonderful place to live and locate a business,” Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said following Tuesday's announcement.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero also said she is happy about the move.
“I'm thrilled by the announcement that Discovery Communications plans to move its National Operations Headquarters to Knoxville. It is a testament to the great talent and facilities that Scripps Networks Interactive already has here, and to Knoxville's many assets and the quality of life we offer. Thanks to Discovery, Governor Haslam's administration and the Knoxville Chamber for all of their work to put this together.”
The Knoxville Chamber said the decision underscores what it has always known.
“This city is a tremendous place to do business,” said Rhonda Rice Clayton, executive vice president for the Knoxville Chamber. “A vibrant economy, access to cutting-edge technologies and a skilled workforce pipeline are just a few of the reasons why global companies, like Discovery Communications, choose Knoxville.”