Jon Lewis, a 56-year-old reporter for News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB for the past 20 years, passed away Thursday related to complications following a brain hemorrhage over the summer.
Lewis, a native New Yorker, has been off the air for the past three months.
WSB’s Donna Hall, market manager for Cox Media Group’s Atlanta radio division, wrote a note to staff, in part: “I wanted to pass along some very sad news about our Jon Lewis. Most of you may be aware that he had a brain hemorrhage this past August and has been battling his way back but unfortunately, Jon passed away early this morning. We will certainly keep you posted on whether there will be services and I know you will keep Jon’s wife Abbie and their sons in your thoughts through this holiday season and beyond.”
She noted his tenacity in pursuing stories. “Jon led our coverage in Oslo, Norway when President Carter won the Nobel Prize,” Hall wrote. “He covered many stories – from trials to fires to severe weather. He especially enjoyed telling the stories of the kids at the Aflac Cancer Center for the WSB Careathon. He easily bonded with the kids and their families and stayed in touch over the years.”
Chris Camp, WSB news director, called Lewis “one of those ultimate radio reporters. He was never looking to do TV. He was a radio geek. He had more war stories than anybody I have ever known.” And for Camp, Lewis was an easy employee to oversee: “You give him an address, point him in the right direction and he knew how to sniff out a story.”
He noted that Lewis had previous health issues, including a leg amputation, but fought back. “He always had a positive outlook on everything,” he said.
Reg Griffin, who worked with Lewis at WSB in 2011 and 2012, wrote on Facebook: “When Jon would start a sentence with, ‘Funny story…’ you knew that it would be. We had our differences politically, but his style of reporting was a rare work of art.”
“It was a tough thing to stomach right before the holidays,” said Doug Turnbull, WSB traffic reporter. “He was a hard-nosed reporter, very analytical and skeptical.”
This news happened just a week after long-time WSB Radio reporter Richard Sangster retired after 26 years.