As CEO Matt Walsh takes a step back from the company, Emily Walsh is eager to continue her family’s lineage as leaders in the community and in the local media industry.
Emily Walsh has been named president of the Observer Media Group, continuing a multigenerational lineage at the helm of the Florida media company.
Matt Walsh, Emily Walsh’s father, announced the promotion at the company’s annual meeting in June. Matt Walsh said he will step back from some leadership responsibilities, though he will retain his position as CEO.
“In the life of just about every company, there’s a time when it needs new energy and new perspectives,” Matt Walsh said. “Emily and her team are going to bring that to what the Observers do while at the same time never forgetting our roots: that we are a local news media company that is totally committed to providing relevant, useful local news to our readers.”
Emily Walsh, 41, has served as publisher of the Observer Media Group’s Sarasota-based newspapers, magazines and websites since 2016. She joined the company 20 years ago as a photographer for the Black Tie section of the Longboat Observer, later serving as editor of the Black Tie and Arts & Entertainment sections, an advertising sales executive and chief digital officer.
Walsh has taken a leading role in the company’s digital operations for more than a decade, managing the launch of YourObserver.com in 2009 and the digital marketing and advertising agency Digital Observer Media in 2013.
Matt Walsh said the company has been preparing for Emily Walsh to step into this leadership role for years. Emily Walsh said she was eager to work with the Observer Media Group’s leadership team to ensure the company continues to carry out its mission into the next generation.
“We’re committed to being your local community newspaper for many years to come, and we’re also committed to innovating and elevating, as our vision statement says,” Emily Walsh said.
This week, Emily Walsh announced another promotion among the Observer Media Group’s leadership ranks: Kat Hughes, the executive editor of the Sarasota-area Observers, will serve as the company’s chief operating officer.
Founded in 1995 by Matt and Lisa Walsh and David and Ruth Beliles, Observer Media Group publishes the Longboat, Sarasota, East County, Siesta Key and Business Observers; West Orange Times & Observer; LWR Life; and Season magazine.
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