Longtime Spotlight staff member Katherine McCarthy, now serving as editor in chief, is leaving the newspapers to become senior regional director of communications in the American Heart Association's Albany office.
Two Spotlight team members, Tim Mulligan and Bill DeVoe, will be moving into the positions of executive editor and managing editor.
McCarthy's last day in the Delmar office is Thursday, Jan. 24. She has been with Spotlight Newspapers for a little more than 12 years.
John McIntyre, vice president and COO, said he will miss McCarthy both professionally and personally.
She's been my right hand, go-to person for years, said McIntyre. "She was the only Spotlight person to have a sit down, one-on-one with the governor (George Pataki); a great teacher and mentor."
McCarthy came to the news field on a circuitous route. She earned her degree in German and spent two years in Germany as a graduate student. With dreams of being a diplomat, McCarthy said her career path is a great tribute to a liberal arts degree.
"After studying languages, I worked in New York City doing publicity for Simon and Schuster," said McCarthy. "I also worked for the Gannett Center for Media Studies, and then my husband, Chris, and I moved upstate to Delmar."
With her two sons, Christopher and Cormac, still preschoolers, a conversation about supermarkets led to a Spotlight story OK from longtime editor Sue Graves.
"My first story was about the grocery stores in Bethlehem and New Scotland, which were Grand Union, Price Chopper, and Nichols," said McCarthy. "It was my first time going up to people and talking to them as a reporter."
As McCarthy and her family settled in to the community, she said she found reporting a great way to get to know a new area.
After Eagle Media bought The Spotlight, McCarthy launched her well-received column, "Mom's the Word," in which she shared her musings on motherhood, from the humorous to the frustrating, pushing the envelope and challenging other parents to think about pressing topics.