Iowa Public Television's public affairs series Iowa Press lost its leader this week when longtime coordinating producer Mike Newell passed away.

For the past 20 years, Mike's hands were at the helm of this program, steering a steady course through the sometimes murky waters of public policy and politics. While you never heard his voice on Iowa Press, he was undoubtedly the heart and soul of the program.

In a world of instant messaging and digital media, Mike was decidedly old-school -- a consummate journalist -- who preferred personal communication rather than email... and who found little use for a computer when a perfectly good typewriter would suffice.

Mike was a teacher -- and a lifelong student -- of mass media communication... a noted film buff who was well-versed in the history of radio, film and television.

Journalism was his passion but he also was well-acquainted with athletics.  And as a play-by-play announcer, Mike covered all kinds of interscholastic, collegiate and professional sports...  As well as the occasional lumberjack competition...

While he was serious about journalism, he never took himself seriously.  Well-known for donning the occasional plaid sport coat, Mike loved a good joke and was the master of clichés.

At Iowa Public Television we extend our deepest sympathies to Mike's dear wife Chris, his two daughters, and his entire family.

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