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Graham Media Group’s Emily L. Barr to Retire

Graham Media Group
(Image credit: NAB)

ARLINGTON, Va.—Emily L. Barr, president and chief executive officer of Graham Media Group, has announced that she will retire from that position later this year. Catherine Badalamente has been named her successor.

Barr has won numerous awards over the years for her work in broadcast TV and local media, including being named the Broadcaster of the Year in 2020 from Broadcasting & Cable magazine. Later this spring, she will be inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.  

“Emily’s leadership has been critical to the Company’s success,” said Timothy J. O’Shaughnessy, chief executive officer of Graham Holdings Company, which owns Graham Media Group. “Graham Media Group has continued its tenure as a best-in-class operator, and Emily has led the organization to receive numerous awards and achieve record earnings. Her deep commitment to the communities we serve has been unparalleled. But perhaps the greatest element of her legacy is the excellence of the team she has built, as evidenced by her successor, Catherine Badalamente. On behalf of everyone at Graham Holdings, I want to thank Emily for her decade of service to the Company.”

Barr’s successor Badalamente joined Graham Media Group (formerly Post-Newsweek Stations) in 2000. She has served in a number of executive leadership roles, spearheading the organization’s digital efforts since 2009. Most recently, she served as vice president and chief innovation officer.

Graham Media Group and Graham Digital have received numerous awards under Badalamente’s management, recognizing the organization for excellence in digital, podcast, and local news production. Under her direction, the company has been at the forefront of developing NextGen TV monetization strategies and models for both digital and broadcast, the company said. 

Badalamente is active in several industry forums including serving as chair of the board of directors of the Local Media Association, treasurer of the board of directors of the Local Media Foundation, and immediate past chair of the National Association of Broadcasters Digital Officers Committee. She earned a BA in communications from John Carroll University.

“I could not be more pleased to appoint Catherine the new CEO of Graham Media Group,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Catherine has helped keep GMG ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing industry, including her leadership in growing each of our digital news sites to be Comscore ranked #1 in their local markets. As the next generation of Graham Media Group unfolds, we have a next generation leader to help steer the ship.”

Barr joined Graham Media Group, then Post–Newsweek Stations, in 2012. Under her leadership, she has transformed the organization from a broadcast based model to seven local media hubs — each in a top-71 market, representing just under 7% coverage in the U.S. The television stations, web and mobile platforms are recognized as news leaders across the media spectrum. During her tenure, Graham Media Group acquired Social News Desk, a leading provider of social media software utilized by thousands of newsrooms around the world. Barr is also responsible for the creation of Graham Digital, a digital media and technology development group based in Detroit.

Graham Media Group was named the 2021 Broadcaster of the Year by TV News Check, the 2016 Station Group of the Year by Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, and has received numerous accolades during Barr’s tenure.

Honored for her civic involvement, Barr is also the 2018 recipient of the Golden Mike Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America, and was inducted into the 2016 Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She was also awarded the 2014 Vincent T. Wasilewski Broadcaster of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters Association. Most recently, Barr was elected to the 2021 class of the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation’s Giants of Broadcasting and Electronic Arts.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.