Mark Ferree, ’26, LHD’77, worked for Scripps Howard for more than 25 years, ending his career as executive vice president and then director of E.W. Scripps Co., the newspaper chain’s parent company.
Ferree’s association with newspapers began when he was a delivery boy for the Richmond (Ind.) Palladium-Item. In high school, he became a reporter and editor for the Marion (Ind.) Chronicle and also was editor of his high school newspaper.
At IU, Ferree was a reporter and copy editor for the Indiana Daily Student. He joined the Evansville (Ind.) Courier in 1924 as an editor and reporter before moving the next year to the Miami Herald.
In 1927, Ferree left newspapers to work in advertising and publicity for the Southern Pine Association. That job led him to Washington, D.C., where Washington Daily News business manager Nelson Poynter, BA’24, convinced him to return to newspapers. He started out selling ads for the News, a Scripps Howard paper, eventually becoming advertising manager.
In 1936, he became advertising director and business manager for the Indianapolis Times. In 1945, he moved to New York and became assistant general business manager and then general business manager for all Scripps Howard newspapers. In 1952, he was named executive vice president and director of E.W. Scripps Co. He retired from the company in 1970.
Ferree served as president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association from 1960 to 1962. In 1961, he and seven other newspaper executives met with President John F. Kennedy to discuss the importance of national security regarding news coverage of the failed Bay of Pigs operation in Cuba. Despite pressure from the president, the news executives stayed firm in their stance that freedom of the press trumped the administration’s security restrictions.
Ferree created an endowment for the School of Journalism that has been used to fund student scholarships and student travel. He received IU’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 1959 and was inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame in 2012. He died in 1982.