Susan Packard is co-founder and former chief operating officer of HGTV. Packard held a variety of senior positions at Scripps Networks Interactive, (NYSE: SNI), the leading developer of lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet. The company’s media portfolio includes popular lifestyle television brands HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, country music network Great American Country (GAC) and the Travel Channel.
Most recently, Packard served as president, Brand Outreach, responsible for aligning corporate citizenship activities. She has also served as president of Scripps Networks New Ventures, where she oversaw the development and launch of DIY Network, Fine Living Network and interactive platforms. Before that, she was president of worldwide distribution for the Scripps cable brands.
In 1980, Packard began her cable career at HBO then moved to NBC to help found CNBC. In 1994, she joined HGTV and became chief operating officer in 1995. Under Packard’s helm, HGTV became one of the fastest growing cable networks in television history. Today HGTV is available in more than 99 million U.S. homes and distributed in 175 countries and territories. Packard helped to build Scripps Networks to a market value of over $7 billion.
On July 1, 2010, Packard joined the firm of Martin Frankel Associates (MFA), an advisory group to global business leaders.
Packard has been recognized by industry peers, colleagues and employees as an innovator, pioneer, role model and mentor. She received the Woman of the Year award by Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and was profiled in Modern Visionaries, a book chronicling the contributions of women to the cable and telecommunications industry. Contemporary Economics, a high school textbook, profiled her as an entrepreneur in the field of media specialization. Cablevision magazine cited her as one of “12 Most Powerful Women in Cable,” and CableWorld magazine has repeatedly honored her among “The Most Influential Women in Cable.” Packard is the recipient of the YWCA Tribute to Women Award, and in 2008, she was inducted into the Cable Center Hall of Fame. In 2010, she was admitted to The Committee of 200, a select group of global women executives dedicated to inspiring and supporting future women leaders in business. She was also recently named to the Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission.
Packard was the first woman elected to serve on the board of directors of Churchill Downs, Inc. (the Kentucky Derby) in 2004. She served on the board for two terms.
Packard is active in national, local business and community affairs. She was elected to the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2001 and served for six years. She has served on the University of Tennessee’s College of Communication’s Board of Advisors. In 2004, she was named a College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumni at Michigan State University. She serves on the executive committee of the Denver-based Cable Center Board of Directors; is vice chair of the board of an independent collegiate day school; lectures at universities and is an advisor on children’s healthcare issues and job training programs for the homeless. In recognition of her outreach work, she received the E.W. Scripps William Burleigh Award for distinguished community service.
Packard lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband and son.