Barbara Wall is Vice President and Senior Associate General Counsel of Gannett Co., Inc. She was named to her current position in April 2009. Gannett publishes 82 daily newspapers, including USA TODAY, and operates 23 television stations. Each of Gannett's daily newspapers and TV stations operates Internet sites which offer news and advertising customized for the market served and integrated with its publishing or broadcasting operations. Gannett’s daily newspapers reach 11.6 million readers every weekday and its broadcast stations reach of more than 21 million households.
After graduating from the University of Virginia Law School, Wall spent five years with the New York City law firm of Satterlee & Stephens where her clients included CBS and Doubleday Books. She moved to Washington DC to join the legal staff of Gannett Co., Inc. in 1985, three years after USA TODAY was launched.
For the last 27 years Wall has represented Gannett’s interests on a variety of issues, including the First Amendment. During her tenure, over a thousand subpoenas seeking the testimony of Gannett reporters have been quashed, over 500 libel suits have been successfully defended, and Gannett properties have filed hundreds of access suits forcing the disclosure of everything from records revealing the deaths of children in state custody, to secret settlements by government agencies, to sexual abuse by priests.
Wall is a leader of the media bar and a frequent speaker on First Amendment issues. As chair of the ABA Forum on Communications Law she founded the Forum’s Annual Meeting, which attracts over 250 First Amendment lawyers each year, and the ABA’s Women in Communications Law committee. Wall has chaired the Newspaper Association of America’s Legal Affairs committee, and serves on the board of The Media Institute in Washington, DC. She has taught Communications Law as an adjunct faculty member at George Washington and American universities, and is on the faculty for the Practising Law Institute’s annual Communications Law program in New York. In 2007 she was the recipient of the Women Bar Association’s annual “Star of the Bar” award.
Wall and her husband Chris have two children, a son, Read, and a daughter, Louisa. Their hobbies include hiking and in 2010 they all climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.