i3 - November/December 2019 - 37

CTA DIGITAL ANSWER MAN; REPORTER, EDITOR
( 1 946 - 2 01 7)

I

t is possible more people
have learned about
consumer technology
products from Jim Barry
than from any person in
history. Barry spent 18 years
as an influential consumer
technology reporter
and editor, then 22 years
appearing across the country
on TV and radio as CTA's
Digital Answer Man.
Barry was exposed to
journalism at an early age. He
was born August 19, 1946, in
Ridgefield Park, NJ, the son of
Beatrice and Milton, known as
Mick, a "renaissance" man who
wrote for several New York
City newspapers, who knew
shorthand and took dictation
from William Randolph Hearst.
He attended St. Francis
Elementary, Bergen Catholic
High School, then St. Michael's
College, a small men's school
in Winooski, VT, graduating in
1968 with a degree in history,
and where he developed a
love for writing.
A passionate believer in
public service, he enlisted in
the Army and, after Officer's
Training School, served as
a lieutenant for two years,
including a tour in Vietnam.
He then spent a year on
Martha's Vineyard driving
a tour bus and refining his

C TA . t e c h / i 3

natural gift of gab, and where
he met his future wife, Kate.
Inheriting a love of writing
from his father, Barry took a
job as a writer for IDC's New
England Outdoors Magazine
in Boston, where he honed
his research, and business
reporting skills. In 1977, he was
hired by the Bartex Publishing
Group in Boston as an editor
at Dealerscope, rising to
editor-in-chief in May 1979, and
eventually to editorial director
and publisher for a number of
Bartex publications including
PC Retailing and Home
Entertainment Marketing
magazines. In 1985, Barry
joined the Crosby Vandenburg
Group in Boston and founded
the company's custom
publishing division, creating
and producing custom
magazines including ESPN,
WGBH and Massachusetts
Hospital Association.
Barry moved to New York
in 1991 to become editor-inchief of Video Magazine. He
oversaw coverage of many

of the consumer electronics
industry's most important
product introductions, while
mentoring young technology
writers and reporters. After
leaving Video in 1994, Barry
moved back to Boston and
started an eponymous
marketing communications
consulting firm, JMBarry.
In 1995, Barry joined CTA,
where he succeeded Jack
Wayman as the industry's
primary media spokesperson.
Barry quickly became the
go-to guy for a quote for
the media, an explanation
of CTA's policy positions
or an insight into the inner
workings of Washington and
how its policies impacted
the technology industry.
He became the consumer
technology industry's friendly,
low-key public face across the
country.
On the road 125 days and
visiting around 60 cities
each year, Barry used his
natural conversational gifts
to showcase and gently

explain new technology
products and their benefits
to consumers via TV, radio
appearances, and newspaper
and magazine interviews
nationwide and internationally,
making more than 6,000
media appearances. He also
was a frequent contributor to
CTA publications, including
It Is Innovation (i3) and
Digital America, as well as
contributing to TWICE and the
Official CES Show Daily, for
which he wrote a semi-annual
"Washington Watch" column
that dissected the influence
of legislation on the consumer
technology industry.
He also served as a judge
for the Consumer Technology
Hall of Fame since the
program's inception in 2000. A
passionate industry advocate
and historian, he contributed
his industry expertise as well
as his personal knowledge
of nominees to the judging
process.
What made Barry an
effective communicator
was his self-effacement.
Even though he was deeply
knowledgeable about
technology and the industry,
he would often deflect and say,
"I am not an expert, but I play
one on TV."

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

37


https://cta.tech/i3

i3 - November/December 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - November/December 2019

i3 - November/December 2019 - Cover1
i3 - November/December 2019 - Cover2
i3 - November/December 2019 - 1
i3 - November/December 2019 - 2
i3 - November/December 2019 - 3
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i3 - November/December 2019 - Cover3
i3 - November/December 2019 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20200304
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20190304
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/i3_20170102
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