Producing presidents: Alumna coordinates high-profile segments for ABC News

If you’ve seen a former U.S. president interviewed on ABC News this year then chances are SUNY New Paltz alumna Erin Brady ’05 (Communication and Media – Radio and TV Production) was part of the production team.

Brady co-produced a central piece of ABC’s Juneteenth coverage: a Good Morning America segment featuring Barack Obama in conversation with Michael Strahan on race, resilience, and the former president’s book, “A Promised Land.”

This was the second consecutive year ABC News produced a special to honor the history and significance of the Juneteenth tradition. In 2020, ABC News’ primetime special “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming” was the No. 1 program across the board in its time slot.

“It’s incredibly exciting to interview a former president and is an exceptional opportunity,” said Brady. “But to have the chance to interview the first Black president, someone so pivotal in history, was really just breathtaking.”

In addition to her work on the Obama piece, Brady previously produced a segment with former President Clinton and James Patterson celebrating their co-authored novel, “The President is Missing.” Her work on these high-profile features is proof of the trust and respect she’s earned during her 15-year career with the prominent news network.

Brady started as a PA at ABC News in 2005, soon after earning her degree at SUNY New Paltz. She was quickly promoted and is now senior producer for Good Morning America.

“When I first got to ABC News they were transitioning from using traditional camera crews to using producers who could shoot,” said Brady. “Luckily for me, I had hands-on experience shooting and editing from my time at New Paltz that made me infinitely more valuable and a gave me a leg up. At the start of my career, I was field-ready.”

Brady also attributes her success to her classroom experience with Associate Professor and Interim Chair of Digital Media & Journalism Gregory Bray ’00 (Communication and Media), where students learned about the importance of long-form storytelling and the impact it can have on audiences.

“We were forced to think critically and figure out how to ask questions that would yield interesting, thought-provoking answers,” she said.

Erin Brady ’05 (Communication) is pictured here (in the red blazer) along with former President Clinton and author James Patterson.

Her success is no surprise to Bray ’00 (Communication and Media), who remembers Brady as a resourceful producer with solid storytelling skills.

“As a student, Erin demonstrated an endless wealth of potential, which she lives up to every day. It’s been an honor seeing her dedication, professionalism, and talent be recognized in her career,” he said. “She was an exemplary student and has continued being an invaluable alumna.”

Brady has visited several of Bray’s classes to discuss her work at ABC News and has made meaningful appearances on department alumni panels. She also has accepted interns from the department and programs, and regularly touches base with her former professors about career updates and to share opportunities for SUNY New Paltz students with ABC.

Learn more about Brady’s work at ABC online.