Home' Local Media Today : August 2007 Contents 2
Editors Note; Kevin Barry is President
& CEO of ASP Westward, headquartered
in Houston, Texas.
Who is Kevin Barry?
A husband, father, and grandfather. A
life long newspaper person. Born and
raised in western Massachusetts, gradu-
ated from New Mexico State University
with a degree in Journalism and Mass
Communications, and have been blessed
with a life-long career doing what I love
How did you get into the newspaper
Started as a reporter then editor of the
high school newspaper, then editor of
the college newspaper and have known
from then that this is what I am passion-
ate about and this is a business that
would remain interesting for a lifetime,
and it has not disappointed me for a
What do you like most about the busi-
The significance it has in people’s lives,
at so many levels. The variety and
unpredictability of what we do on day-
to-day basis. The strength of the busi-
ness franchise and the opportunities pre-
sented by such if we are willing to
change and take advantage of emerging
The least? The industry’s inability to
change in any meaningful way to adapt
to changing needs of customers -- both
readers and advertisers -- changing envi-
ronments in which we operate, and
changing opportunities. The emergence
of community newspapers is refreshing
and encouraging, and I have enjoyed
being a part of that process.
When the well runs dry, how do you
recharge the spark?
Remind myself of the limitless opportu-
nities that exist in this business and pick
one to focus on. Rowing a skull on a
tranquil lake is a great environment in
which to do that.
What do you know now that you wish
you knew when you started in this
How hard it is to effect any meaningful
change in the overall daily newspaper
industry. The decades-long debate over
SAUs should have been a hint.
The only thing I know for sure about
the business of running newspapers
There are far more opportunities than we
inside the business oftentimes recognize,
and that it is an insulated business that is
not subject to a lot of the same pressures
of other businesses in the real world. In
some ways, this is good. In others, it has
kept us from being as good as we could
Who/what is your major influence?
I seem to be influenced most by com-
mitted, hard-working and dedicated
employees, and customers who believe
in what it is that we do. That is what
drives me to use whatever tools and
intellect I might have been given to do
things better today than I did them yes-
The world would be a vastly better
place if only people would.....
Show more respect for one another and
work harder at understanding perspec-
tives other than their own.
What three accomplishments are you
most proud of?
My family. A track record of leaving
places better off than when I arrived.
Sincere respect for each person in our
organization and what it is they con-
tribute to the overall mission of what we
No one is better than I am when it
I am certain there is someone better at
whatever it is that I do. I try to be open,
respectful and provide strong leadership
I still can’t quite get the hang of.....
Tying a bow tie. Never could. Likely,
If you could have dinner with anyone,
living or dead, who would it be?
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, together. In
their own ways they have had such pro-
found effect directly and indirectly on
the way we live and get things done.
If you couldn’t be a newspaperman,
what would you like to be doing?
I cannot recall ever wishing I had done
or would do something else. I owned an
art center and gallery for a few years
recently and enjoyed that, but it was not
as if it replaced my life passion of news-
papers. What I enjoy is working with
people to accomplish more together than
we think is possible.
What do you do for kicks?
Rowing a skull. Throwing pots and
playing in clay. Golfing. Playing with
“There are far more opportuni-
ties than we, inside the business,
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