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Bisbee steps down after nine years leading Brookline Interactive Group

Kathy Bisbee is departing after nine years leading the Brookline Interactive Group. Photo courtesy of Kathy Bisbee.
September 5, 2023

Kathy Bisbee, the executive director of Brookline Interactive Group (BIG), is leaving her position at the helm of the community media center after nine years.

In a news release on Tuesday, Bisbee said that she’s departing to take a job closer to home in western Massachusetts. She said she will be joining a regional coalition focused on digital equity.

“It’s been an incredible honor to serve the community of Brookline, facilitating the community’s dialogue with itself, expanding the transparency and accessibility of local government, and amplifying voices we don’t hear enough in mainstream media or in town leadership,” Bisbee said in a statement.

Heather Hamilton, the organization’s deputy director and a former Select Board chair, will serve as interim director as BIG’s board starts what Bisbee called a “national search” for a new leader.

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BIG, Brookline’s public access television station, also serves as a media and technology education center. It serves more than 500 Brookline each year with classes and equipment that are open to the public.

Under Bisbee, BIG has worked to maintain its budget despite falling revenue from cable fees, and also pivoted to help the town make its public meetings more accessible from home during the pandemic.

Bisbee has overseen a fundraising boost, which brought in a record $117,000 in grants in 2022 and 2023, as well as leading the organization to earn two federal ARPA grants worth $1.3 million.

She has also experimented with new media technology, founding a virtual reality lab at BIG which she says is the country’s first publicly accessible VR lab.

That work and the organization’s pandemic efforts “created a culture of innovation and adaptive leadership at BIG, and I think that will continue,” Bisbee said in her statement.

“Community television isn’t television anymore, it’s all forms of media making, journalism, storytelling, AI, XR, social media, podcasting, and helping folks understand how to use these new technologies,” she added.