Founder / CEO

Jim Brady is the founder and CEO of Spirited Media, the mobile-focused local news startup that owns and operates BillyPenn.

Jim has spent almost 20 years in digital news, working in both digital-only and legacy operations, and has the gray, thinning hairline to prove it. He came to the digital world in April 1995 as sports editor of Digital Ink, the Washington Post’s first new media effort. He was on the core team that launched in June 1996 and has been a sucker for all things digital ever since.

Along the way, Jim has served as executive editor of, general manager of the now-deceased, editor-in-chief of Digital First Media and in various executive roles at America Online.

During Jim’s tenure as executive editor of, the site won a national Emmy award for its Hurricane Katrina coverage, a Peabody Award for its “Being a Black Man” series, an Editor & Publisher award for Best Overall Newspaper-Affiliated Web Site, two Digital Edge awards for Best Overall News Site, a Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism, two Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards, four Edward R. Murrow Awards for Best Non-Broadcast Affiliated Web Site, and more than 100 White House News Photographers video awards.

At Digital First Media, Jim was the editor overseeing 75 daily newspapers, 292 non-daily publications and 341 online sites. He also oversaw the conception. launch and — eventually — the demise of Project Thunderdome, a centralized digital innovation hub that produced high-quality news products for DFM properties.

At TBD, Jim built a local news operation dedicated to comprehensive coverage of the Washington, D.C. region that combined the values of traditional journalism and the power of citizen journalism. As general manager of TBD, he was responsible for the business operations and editorial oversight of both and TBD TV, a 24-hour local cable news station.

During Jim’s four-plus years at America Online, he served as Group Programming Director, News & Sports; Executive Director, Editorial Operations; and Vice President, Production & Operations. During his time at AOL, Brady was in charge of the service’s coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2000 presidential election.

Jim is also a Past President of the Online News Association, where he’s been a board member since 2005. He also serves on the boards of the American Society of News Editors and the National Press Foundation, on the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute and on the advisory boards of GlobalPost, Kaiser Health News, The American University School of Communication and the Fiscal Times.

Brady earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Print Journalism from The American University in 1989. Born in Queens, N.Y. and raised in Huntington, N.Y., he lives with his wife, Joan, and two stubborn beagles in Great Falls, Va.

In his spare time, Jim likes to rant on Twitter about the New York Jets, drinks an ungodly amount of Diet Pepsi, listens to Rush and, according to Philadelphia Magazine, wears Dad jeans.

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