Barr's vision to create a street-level studio that would give viewers a window into the world of television was realized in April 2006, when the state-of-the-art State Street Studio debuted and became ABC 7's new broadcast home.
Barr has positioned ABC 7 as the most technologically advanced television station in Chicago. Under her leadership, the station moved into the new era of High Definition television in January 2007, becoming the first and only Chicago station to offer viewers a complete schedule of local news and programming in stunning HD television. Among other "firsts" Barr spearheaded, were the station's acquisition of the city's only HD helicopter, video podcasting and the extensive distribution of news, weather, traffic and information via handheld and wireless devices. ABC 7 has also expanded local coverage with its use of additional digital channels including a 24-hour digital news and weather channel.
Previously, Barr served as the President and General Manager of WTVD-TV, the ABC-owned station in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., which she joined in October 1994. Prior to her three years in Raleigh-Durham, Barr worked at WMAR-TV in Baltimore, Md., where she was promoted to be the station's Assistant General Manager in May 1993. She joined WMAR-TV in July 1988 as the Director of Broadcast Operations & Programming.
Earlier in her career, Barr was the Director of Creative Services (1987-88) and Advertising and Promotion Manager (1985-87) at KHOU-TV in Houston, Texas. She also worked as a writer and producer for WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C., which she joined in January 1983. Barr began her career in broadcasting in 1980 as a news editor at KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Minn.
Barr is actively involved in the Chicago community and serves on multiple boards including Chicago Central Area Committee, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Children's Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Currently, Barr is the President of the Board of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Chicago, and is the past Chairman of the Board for the Illinois Broadcasters Association and a current Vice Chair-TV for the IBA. She is also a member of the Economic Club, the Executive's Club and the Chicago Network.
Barr has been honored for her civic involvement, and was appointed by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley to be on the State Street Commission. She currently is the State Street Commission's Vice Chair. The Chicago Urban League recognized Barr's contributions to the League by selecting her as their 2006 Spirit Award winner. The Niagara Foundation, promoting diversity, tolerance and global fellowship, honored her with their 2006 Communications Award.
In 2004, she received the Luminary Award from the Girl Scouts of Chicago, recognizing her community involvement and visionary leadership. In 1998, she received the Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans.
A native of Haverhill, Mass., Barr is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and holds a B.A. in Film Studies from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. In 1986, she earned an M.B.A. from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Barr is married to Scott M. Kane and has two daughters. They live in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.