publisher, Whitehall Forum; general manager, The State News
Louis Berman was a hometown editor; he was also a savior. “If Lou Berman had not shown up at The State News when he did, the newspaper might not survived as an independent, prize-winning publication,” said former State News editor James Wallington, now news editor for The Romeo Observer. Berman was “a sage adviser, experienced teacher, motivator, cheerleader and father confessor to hundreds of State News staffers,” wrote Beverly Hall Burns, a former reporter and now an attorney.
Born in Chicago in 1903, Berman attended Northwestern University, majoring in journalism. After 10 years at The Muskegon Chronicle, he bought The Whitehall (Mich.) Forum in 1935. He served as publisher for 25 years and wrote a popular column called “The Old Home Town.”
Berman was a member of the Michigan Press Association, serving as president in 1954. In 1961 MSU President John Hannah recruited Berman to fill the general manager position at the financially ailing State News. Within a year, Berman had the paper operating at a profit. He guided the paper through independent incorporation in 1971. That same year, Berman was named a Distinguished Newspaper Advisor by the National Council of College Publications. He retired in 1972 and died in 1980, leaving behind a talented group of journalists known affectionately as “Louie’s kids.”