Scripps spells secure branch connectivity S-R-X

The Scripps National Spelling Bee may be world famous, but Scripps is also one of the largest local television broadcasters in the U.S. Scripps reaches nearly every American through its news outlets like Court TV and Scripps News, entertainment brands like ION, Bounce, Grit, and Laff, and Scripps Sports. The company operates 61 television stations, and people can catch its shows on cable, satellite, and the internet.

Scripps relies on Juniper SRX Series Firewalls to securely connect its TV stations, tech hubs, data centers, office, and cloud connections.  


Company E.W. Scripps
Industry Media and Entertainment
Products used SRX1500SRX380SRX320Security Director
Region Americas
E.W. Scripps Image
Customer Success At-a-glance


Performance increase in branch connectivity speeds vs. previous solution


SRX hardware reliability since implementation and migration


Cost reduction in leased lines from the current service provider


Of sites connected by Juniper firewalls via IPsec VPNs


Move to cloud and keep WAN costs down

The 144-year-old Scripps is known for making bold moves in the U.S. television market. As part of its profitable growth and expansion strategy, the company decided to shift more applications and resources to the cloud.

But as the company shifted to cloud, network traffic volumes began to rise. To get control over WAN costs, Scripps wanted to leverage lower cost internet links instead of pricey MPLS circuits — without sacrificing performance.

Scripps began to replace its MPLS circuits and Juniper SRX branch firewalls with another vendor’s SD-WAN product and internet links. But midway through the SD-WAN rollout, the performance problems were undeniable. Broadcast streams were intermittently lagging or halting, spoiling the viewing experience and putting advertising revenue at risk.

Mark Luciano, who had recently joined Scripps as senior director of infrastructure, and Paul Riccobene, the chief network architect at Scripps, began to investigate. They soon determined the TV stations that had not been moved to the new SD-WAN weren’t experiencing the performance issues. When a station was connected back to the SRX firewall using an IPsec VPN tunnel, the performance problems disappeared.

Scripps Challenge

Secure branch connectivity that’s ready for prime time

Scripps stopped the SD-WAN deployment and rolled out SRX firewalls with IPsec VPNs. Scripps TV stations, tech hubs, and offices have fast, reliable, and secure connectivity to the company’s data centers and cloud services, while still eliminating pricey MPLS leased lines.

Reversing a high-profile decision was bold, and Pat Browning, Scripps’ SVP and CIO, and Clinton Hess, the VP of IT infrastructure, were supportive as the team worked to make sure the business was supported by the best technology.

“We saw a substantial performance improvement once we put the SRX firewalls back in,” says Riccobene. “Our central hubs and other locations saw a 20% performance increase in roundtrip time when connected by IPsec VPNs on the SRX firewalls.”

Juniper SRX1500 Firewalls protect  Scripps’ data centers and cloud connections with next-generation security that is ideal for deterministic, latency-sensitive environments such as broadcast TV. Juniper SRX380 and SRX320 Firewalls, with integrated security, routing, and switching functions, connect TV stations, tech hubs, and offices. The network team uses the Juniper Security Director management application to centrally configure and manage application security, firewalls, VPNs, and security policies across all the company’s SRX firewalls.

Scripps Solution

Uptime and visibility across the entire Scripps broadcast network

Audio and video glitches disappeared with the Juniper network. The tech hubs can control and monitor TV stations anywhere in the nation without concerns that unreliable connectivity will mar the viewer experience or impact revenues. If a problem does occur, the network team can fix it from afar, which is critical for TV stations with unattended weekend operations.

The network is also more operationally efficient. Scripps reduced the number of MPLS leased lines by 30%, which saved $30,000 on its monthly telecom bill. Once all 90 sites are converted to Juniper, the company expects to reduce their monthly WAN costs by $90,000.

The takeaway for Luciano and Riccobene was to keep it simple.

“All the bells and whistles of technology don’t mean much without a rock-solid network foundation,” says Luciano. “We know that the SRX is rock-solid, keeps working, and is manageable.”

Scripps Outcome
“We returned to a meat-and-potatoes approach to connectivity and security. IPsec VPNs and Juniper firewalls do what they need to do to connect and protect our TV station sites.”
Mark Luciano Senior Director of Network Infrastructure, Scripps
Related Content

Scripps relies on Juniper SRX Series Firewalls to securely connect TV stations, tech hubs & more!

Scripps's Senior Director of Infrastructure, Mark Luciano shares how they rely on Juniper SRX Series Firewalls to securely connect its TV stations, tech hubs, data centers, office, and cloud connections.

Published September 2023