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Emily Barr, who has been president and general manager of WLS since 1997, is leaving the Chicago ABC O&O to lead Post-Newsweek Stations, the television broadcasting division of the Washington Post Company.
Barr will join Post-Newsweek in July, replacing Alan Frank, who is retiring as president and CEO at the end of the year. Her last day at WLS is today.
“We are so fortunate to have Emily Barr join us,” Donald Graham, chairman and CEO of the Washington Post Company, said in a statement. “She’s been an outstanding manager in one of the greatest companies in the industry and a force for innovation everywhere she’s been.”
“It’s going to be very hard to walk out of the door here,” Barr told the Chicago Tribune. “I love this television station, I love this company. I’ve had just an amazing run and I’ve appreciated every minute of it. But this came along and it was just too good to pass up.”
Post-Newsweek owns six stations: KPRC in Houston, WPLG in Miami, WDIV in Detroit, WKMG in Orlando, KSAT in San Antonio and WJXT in Jacksonville. The company, which is based in Detroit, will move its headquarters to Chicago when Barr takes over.
“We were all surprised,” WLS anchor Ron Magers said. “I think we were all hoping she would be happy here forever.”
Before joining WLS, Barr was the president and general manager of WTVD in Raleigh-Durham and the assistant general manager of WMAR in Baltimore. She has also worked at KHOU in Houston, WJLA in Washington, DC and KSTP in Minneapolis.