Publishers, editors, ad men part of department's rich heritage
These three alumni, from what was then the School of Communications, represent a rich journalistic and advertising legacy. Learn more about Hal Newsom (BA, 1952), president and CEO of Cole & Weber when it was the largest advertising agency in the Northwest; William Lewis (BA, 1942), who was co-publisher of the Lynden Tribune and several other newspapers; and Bill Bates (BA, 1946), former editor and publisher of the Snohomish County Tribune.
William Lewis: B.A., 1942
William Lewis joined the staff of the Lynden Tribune as associate publisher in 1945 after his release from the military. He became editor and columnist as well as co-publisher, serving until his retirement in 1984.
He is a past vice-president of the Westside Record Journal, Blaine and Ferndale, Washington; co-publisher of the Point Roberts, Washington Ocean Star and founder of the Blaine Air Force station Bubble Gazette. He is the recipient of 13 editorial and feature awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA).
He received the education editorial award from the Washington Education Association, the John L. Fournier Award for community service to the WNPA and the newspaper industry and the Washington State Farm Bureau Editorial Award in 1977. He served as President of the WNPA in 1979. Lewis is a member and past president in the Lynden Lions and a member and past president and life member of Lynden Kiwanis Club. He received the distinguished service and first citizen award by the Whatcom County Council in 1984 and was president of the Lynden Chamber of Commerce in 1980.
He organized reunion associations for USS Frazier and Northwestern Midshipmen and received the Lone Sailor Award for service to the USS Frazier Association in 1992. During WWII, Lewis was assigned to the USS Frazier DD607 at Adak in the Aleutians and served in the South Pacific campaigns of Kwajalean, Tarawa, Pelieu, Yap, and other campaigns. He holds four campaign ribbons and 12 battle stars.
During his career as a UW student, Lewis was business manager of The Daily and an honorary member of Fir Tree and Oval (a university society that draws on one member from each of the undergrad classes). He also played clarinet in the Husky Band.
In recognition of the 65th anniversary of World War II, The Desert Sun staff writer Denise Goolsby featured Lewis and other WWII veterans living in Coachella Valley in a series called Honoring Our World War II Heroes.
Bill Bates: B.A., 1946
Bill Bates is the former editor and publisher of the Snohomish County Tribune. He has lived in Snohomish with his family since the late '50s and at their current home since the early '60s.
The Bates are the second owners of the 1904 building located in the historic district of Snohomish. Bill went to the UW in the early '40s where he worked for PA Kennedy and wrote for Columns (when it was a humor magazine).
He interrupted his studies for the war and returned in late 1945 to finish his degree. He was the summer editor for the Daily and, upon graduation, worked in Pasco and Kelso as a journalist.
He received a job offer from Snohomish Tribune owner Tom Dobbs to sell ads, which he did for 3-4 years. After Dobbs passed away unexpectedly, Bates became a major owner of the paper. He has many stories about his time as the publisher, ad man, columnist, journalist, etc — covering most of the jobs required on a small paper — including the moral dilemmas he faced when reporting on friends and neighbors involved in scandals or crime.
Bates compiled many of his columns in the book There is an Owl in Our Belfry. He remembers one story from his days as summer editor at The Daily: There was not much news happening so the editorial staff decided to create their own by putting garbage all over campus, taking pictures, then writing an editorial about the state of the campus. He was surprised by the response they received when dozens of students, outraged by the mess, volunteered to help clean the campus grounds. By that time the staff had already picked up the garbage they so carefully staged and Bates reports that the campus was “really very pristine.”
Hal Newsom: B.A., 1952
The first thing you notice about Hal Newsom is his height. He is tall. Walking into his home sitting 20-plus stories above First Hill and overlooking downtown Seattle, you might then notice a series of photographs of Newsom and his wife, Peggy, skiing and rafting with their children or climbing Mount Rainier (he did that twice), or Kilimanjaro. There is also a picture of Newsom on the slopes with champion skier Jean Claude Killy. Add to his outdoor accomplishments a climb up Mount Chirripo, Costa Rica’s highest mountain and marathon running. He is master rower, bicyclist, and he sat on the board of Outward Bound of Seattle. Sitting down to talk to Newsom you would notice almost immediately a sharp wit and clever sense of humor. And unless you know in advance, it’s very hard to notice that Hal Newsom has Parkinson’s disease. He’s fine with that.
Newsom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1995 and almost immediately plunged into activities related to the disease. He was one of the first board members of Northwest Parkinson's Disease Foundation, which developed the Booth Gardner Parkinson's Care Center at Evergreen Hospital. He sat on the board for eight years and helped create the facility to treat all aspects of Parkinson’s. He also wrote a book to help newly diagnosed Parkinson's people: HOPE-For the Newly Diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease Person. (All proceeds from the book benefit the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation.) He also sat on the board for the Highline Community Hospital for 20 years and is an esteemed past president.
Newsom doesn’t mind telling you about his experiences with Parkinson’s disease, but it is not the first thing you notice about him. And while he may not ski any more, he has a rigorous workout schedule and when Peggy goes skiing he writes poetry that will make you laugh and groan. And that’s just fine with him too.
Newsom graduated from Beloit with a degree in economics before moving to Seattle. Unsuccessful in finding an ad agency job, he enrolled in the UW’s journalism school where he honed his skills in writing, as sports editor of The Daily and built his first advertising campaign with the introduction of a new restaurant, The Burgermaster. He entered the Army as a private destined for the OCS School at Fort Benning, Georgia, but not before 16 weeks of basic training followed by leadership school. When he returned to Seattle in 1955 after his Army tour, he renewed his search for an advertising job in Seattle.
Not long after arriving in Seattle, the Newsoms built a house on Vashon Island, which is where they raised their four children. Newsom remembers getting the electrical work approved on the same day he got the Boeing account for Cole and Weber and felt that somehow the electrical seemed more important at the time. He chronicles the first time he met his wife in Yellowstone Summer.
Newsom started at Safeco when he first arrived in Seattle and moved on to Cole & Weber, where he stayed until his retirement. Newsom was president and CEO of Cole & Weber when it was the largest advertising agency in the Northwest. He wrote various TV commercials for Boeing, which aired on Monday Night Football. He is also responsible for the iconic Wien air goose ads. After 33 years, Newsom retired from Cole & Weber, having produced more than 2,000 ads throughout his career. Newsom reminisces about his career and his advertising colleagues in the online piece Marketing Immortals.
Margaret (Peggy) B. Newsom is a UW alum too. She has a B.A. (1953) in Sociology and she earned her M.A. in 1977 from the College Of Education.