Remembering Dow Smith

This message was first sent to Newhouse faculty and staff.


I write again today to pay tribute to someone who many Newhouse alumni in broadcast journalism, faculty and staff knew well.

Dow Smith, a retired associate professor of broadcast journalism, passed away on April 2 in Albany. He was 83. While I never worked with Dow at Newhouse, he had a sterling reputation in broadcast circles as a newsroom leader, dedicated educator and as the author of a definitive textbook on producing TV news. I used and assigned his outstanding textbook, Power Producer, at both the University of Maryland and Arizona State University. His career as a producer, news director and TV station general manager included tenures in multiple markets around the country under multiple ownerships before joining the Newhouse School in 1995. 

Associate professor and former associate dean Dona Hayes describes Dow as a “fountain of broadcast journalism knowledge” who knew everyone in the business. In particular, Dow loved teaching news producing and spread his enthusiasm for behind-the-camera work to the scores of students he trained at Newhouse. A U.S. Navy veteran, Dow also served as director of the Military and Visual Journalism program. 

Recalls Dona: “Dow was also a special colleague because he cared about people. He and I shared artistic sons whom we often kibitzed about. He adored all of his children, grandchildren, his wife, Bonnie, the Sears catalogue house they settled in near Albany and fast British cars.” 

Dow retired from the Newhouse School in 2008 but left a lasting impression with the many students he mentored who went on to successful careers as broadcast journalists and news leaders. Here is part of a touching tribute from Kyle Grimes ’99, vice president for New England of Hearst Television and president and general manager of WCVB-TV in Boston:

“Dow was inimitable. Larger than life in stature and spirit. He developed the newscast producer program at Newhouse and added to the rich legacy of the school by creating yet one more attribute that differentiated Newhouse from its peers.”   

A private memorial service is planned for this summer. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked in his obituary for donations to be made to the Committee to Protect Journalists. On behalf of the Newhouse community, I want to extend our sincerest condolences to Dow’s family and friends. 


Message from Dean Lodato

Editor’s Note: The following message was initially sent to faculty and staff on March 27. It has been updated with a link to the obituary and details about the memorial service.

Dear Newhouse Faculty and Staff,

I write this evening with sad news. If you have not yet heard, John Philip Jones, an emeritus professor, longtime faculty member in the advertising department and influential voice in the field, died this past Saturday.  

I never met John, but I know from talking with people who did work with him about the impact that he left at the Newhouse School, his dedication to the advertising department—for which he also served as chair— and his illustrious career in Europe before joining Syracuse University.  

Jones spent a quarter-century at J. Walter Thompson, holding positions in London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. He arrived at Syracuse in 1981, bringing a wealth of knowledge that would benefit the hundreds of students that he would go on to teach at Newhouse. 

Among his long list of accolades: In 1991, Jones was named by the American Advertising Federation as the Distinguished Advertising Educator of the Year. That same year, he became a member of the Council of Judges of the Advertising Hall of Fame. In 1996, he was honored by Cowles Business Media and the American Association of Advertising Agencies for leadership in the media field. And in 2001, he received the Syracuse University Chancellor’s Citation for Exceptional Academic Achievement. 

Jones was also a prolific author, having written about 18 books. His work has been translated into German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Turkish and Arabic. 

Needless to say, we were fortunate to have his expertise at the Newhouse School. On behalf of the Newhouse community, I extend deepest condolences to John’s family and friends. 

Information on contributions in John’s memory can be found in his obituary. A memorial service has been scheduled for April 30 at 10 a.m., at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Syracuse. 


Dean Lodato

Message from Dean Mark Lodato

Editor’s note: The first two floors of Newhouse 1 reopened Monday, Nov. 6.

The following message was sent to the Newhouse community on Friday, Nov. 3, at 4:52 p.m.

Dear Newhouse Students, Faculty and Staff, 

I wanted to share a brief update before the end of the day about the status of Newhouse 1. 

The first and second floors of Newhouse 1 will remain closed through the weekend as cleaning and remediation work continue following the small fire that started in a first-floor classroom currently undergoing renovation.  

The fire caused some smoke damage, but I am thankful that is the extent of the impact following a thorough inspection by Public Safety and Campus Facilities. I want to also express my gratitude to the City of Syracuse Fire Department for their tireless efforts on Thursday night.  

We expect the first and second floors of Newhouse 1 to reopen Monday. However, the rest of the Newhouse complex is open as usual, and Family Weekend events on Saturday are scheduled to take place as planned.  

I know this may have been an unsettling situation for some members of our community, especially those who were here Thursday night. Please know that your well-being is top of mind, and the goal is to make sure we have a safe and conducive learning environment for all on Monday. 

If plans change for the reopening on Monday of the first and second floors of Newhouse 1, we will notify affected students, faculty and staff as soon as possible over the weekend about alternative arrangements.  

In the meantime, thank you again for your patience and understanding. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  


Dean Lodato 

The following message was sent to Newhouse School students on Friday, Nov. 3 , at 12:48 p.m.

Dear Newhouse Students, 

I wanted to share the latest update on the status of Newhouse 1 after the small fire on Thursday night that caused some smoke damage.  

While the exact cause is still under investigation, I can confirm that it started in a first-floor classroom in Newhouse 1 that is currently undergoing renovation. School leadership and staff are working closely with Campus Facilities to assess the affected areas.  

As a precaution, and with your safety and well-being in mind, we have temporarily closed the first and second floors of Newhouse 1 while deep cleaning and remediation activities take place. I appreciate your understanding and cooperation at this time. 

We are aware of 11 classes affected on Friday by the closures. Faculty teaching those classes were notified early this morning. Many of the affected classes are labs in which you or your classmates may already be shooting projects outside the building.  

Any classes that were scheduled to meet in person were moved to other locations, or your instructors were given the option of rescheduling or meeting remotely. I apologize for any inconvenience the closures may have caused.   

Our goal is to have all of Newhouse 1 open again by Monday. In the meantime, the rest of the Newhouse complex is open as usual.  

Family Weekend events on Saturday are also scheduled to take place as planned, and I hope to see you and your families back at Newhouse this weekend. 

I want to thank each of you for your patience and understanding during this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I am committed to keeping you informed and addressing any issues that may arise.  


Dean Lodato 

The following message was sent to Newhouse School students on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 10:48 p.m.

Dear Newhouse Students,

Earlier this evening, a small fire started in a Newhouse 1 classroom, resulting in some smoke damage. The building was evacuated, and thankfully no one was hurt. 

First and foremost, I want to reassure you that everyone is safe, and the immediate situation has been resolved. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our Newhouse community, and we are taking all necessary precautions. 

Cleanup efforts are already underway. To that end, out of an abundance of caution, I have decided to move all Newhouse 1 first- and second-floor classrooms and offices tomorrow. This will allow time to assess and address any potential smoke damage and ensure that the affected areas are safe for use once again. 

Those students, faculty or staff impacted by closures will be notified as soon as possible about alternative arrangements for Friday. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation. I understand that such incidents can be unsettling, but please rest assured that we are working diligently to minimize any disruption while maintaining a secure and conducive learning environment. 

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

I appreciate your understanding and cooperation. 


Dean Lodato

Newhouse School Mourns the Loss of Pioneering Media Executive Edward Bleier ’51

The Newhouse School mourns the loss of Edward Bleier ’51, the pioneering media executive whose generosity to his alma mater helped support the study of television and pop culture for generations of students that followed in his footsteps at Syracuse University.

Edward Bleier
Edward Bleier ’51

Bleier died Tuesday, his wife Magda Bleier, told The New York Times. He was 94.

Bleier, the former president of Warner Bros. domestic pay-TV, cable and network features division, worked in almost every aspect of radio and television during his distinguished career.

Fittingly, his name is memorialized at the Newhouse School through the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture, which serves as a kind of think tank on the art of television and the exploration of popular culture. 

A sign outside the Newhouse 3 rooms for the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture
The Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture, located in the Newhouse 3 building, is named after Edward Bleier ’51, who died this week. (Photo by Genaro C. Armas)

Bleier requested in his memorial notices that gifts be sent to the Bleier Center in lieu of flowers.

“Edward Bleier was a titan of the communications industry, a visionary who helped build the foundation for so many of the platforms for consuming content that we take for granted today,” Newhouse Dean Mark J. Lodato said.

“On behalf of the Newhouse community, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Bleier family,” Lodato added. “We are so thankful for his tremendous generosity to Syracuse University, where his legacy will live on at the Bleier Center.”

Bleier was a key executive in implementing changes in the media landscape, principally at Time Warner/Warner Bros. and ABC-TV. At ABC in the 1960s, he at various times headed daytime and children’s programming; news, sports and prime-time sales; and marketing, public relations and long-range planning.

From 1969-2004, while at Warner Bros., Bleier was a key player in Warner Communications’ development of cable systems, cable networks, home video, sports and its 1990 merger with Time Inc.

In 2005, the Center for the Study of Popular Television was renamed the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture thanks to a generous donation from Bleier. The center is headed by Professor Bob Thompson, one of the most well-known and widely quoted popular culture experts in the world.

“Media, particularly popular media, are the new DNA of our global society. With Internet and satellite, ideas, images, stories and information affect every aspect of the world, often instantly,” Bleier said in 2005 in an announcement about the renaming of the center.

“The content of American media is so pervasive-for good or ill-it must be seriously taught and examined,” Bleier said. “Bob Thompson is at the forefront and I am honored to add my support.”

Thompson plans to speak at a memorial service for Bleier on Sunday in East Hampton, New York. He said Bleier “knew everyone in – and everything about – American television.”

“In over 30 years as my friend, he taught me volumes. I was always taken by how a guy who had been such a VIP for 70 years was also so humble and kind. And hilarious,” Thompson said. “Although he’d been retired for a while, he remained up-to-the-second on the monumental changes happening in the industry.”

Thompson recalled a conversation a few weeks ago, during which Bleier provided insights about streaming, artificial intelligence and the Hollywood writers and actors strikes “with wisdom and aplomb,” he said. “I am proud to see his name on my door every morning.”

Message from Dean Mark Lodato

Dear Newhouse Community:

While I know many of you aren’t on campus since it’s still fall break, I wanted to reach out to let you know that I’m sensitive to the fact that the last few days have been extremely distressing for so many people in our Newhouse community.

The news out of the Middle East is frightening and heartbreaking. I abhor the devastating acts of terrorism against Israel and the violence that has erupted in Israel and Gaza. The situation can be especially upsetting for students, faculty or staff with family, friends or other connections to the Middle East.

There are resources available to any member of our community in need of support. 

As the conflict escalates, most of us will be consumed with the upsetting reports that will emerge in the days and weeks ahead. I would like to reiterate the message that Chancellor Syverud conveyed Monday: What we can control is how we treat and engage one another. 

If a fellow student or colleague is upset or grieving, extend compassion and treat them with respect. Acts of kindness, however small, can hold deep significance every day, especially for those in need of support. 

Please know that my door is always open as I welcome every opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations.

Dean Lodato