Lewis Barlow – in memory

From the Boston Globe 11/2/2008

Lewis Barlow of Duxbury, formerly of Newton, Oct. 29th, husband of the late Patricia (Hughes) Barlow. Loving father of Christopher L. Barlow and his wife Kelly of Duxbury and Jennifer E. Bassett and her husband Eric of Pembroke. Devoted grandfather of Christopher Jr, Ryan, Troy, Lindsey, Alexender, Ethan and Declan. Born in Malden, MA, July 23, 1928. A son of the late Hyman and Selma (Woolfson) Barlow.

Mr. Barlow was a graduate of the University of New York, where he received a B.A., and his M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1957, Lewis Barlow has been a major contributor to the local television scene in numerous capacities. From his early days as Senior Producer/Director at WGBH, through his decades of teaching communications at Boston University, he has had significant impact on television professionals both young and old.

Following his stint at WGBH, his work life took him to the University of Pennsylvania to teach and produce, to CBS and NBC in Philadelphia and New York to work in production, to South Carolina on a Ford Foundation grant, back to New York to work on “Sesame Street” and ABC-TV, and through Philadelphia and New York again.

Then Barlow returned to Boston for good with a part-time lecturing stint at BU, and eventually landing at WCVB-TV as Executive Producer, where he supervised all non-news programming in one of the largest program departments in the country. During this period, WCVB produced more local programs than any other station in America. Lewis also supervised the first televised broadcast of the Boston/New England Emmy Awards Ceremony.

From 1983 to the present, he has served as full-time professor in the Broadcasting and Film Department at Boston University. Until his death was an Associate Professor Emeritus.

During his career, Lewis received numerous accolades and recognition including regional and local Emmy awards. He has been a member of the Writers Guild of America, the National Television Academy and the International Television Association.



  1. Don Hallock on November 12, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Memory of Lew dates back to my very first days at WGBH (1957), when I was working in the scene shop and he was a producer/director (obviously one of the station’s first – if not THE first). Except for consults on sets and staging for his shows I didn’t see much of him until I moved into the studio as cameraman. From then on he and I worked together frequently and, since I was as yet fairly new to television, Lew was one of those from whom I learned much.

    I do recall him as a bit “type-a,” though he was generally very enjoyable to work with. He had a ready sense of humor, and his characteristic comment when standing around the studio discussing the ins and outs of any specific production detail still echoes in my head: “I know the problems.” he would say emphatically, “I know the problems!” Judging by his ‘post WGBH’ career, he did.

    I remember having a great deal of fun running camera on “Jazz with Father O’Connor,” which I did for a few seasons. It was an ad lib show, and Lew, besides being a very good director, was always grateful for the unusual shots we, on the floor, were able to ‘sell’ him. If memory serves me, Lew left the station about the time that I was moved up to producer/director, and I think I inherited the jazz show and “I’ve Been Reading” directly from him. He was, I think, close friends with Bob Moscone, but after his departure from the station I don’t recall ever hearing of him.

    Over the years I have wondered what became of him, and I was impressed to read in the obituary of his many and illustrious accomplishments. I wasn’t really surprised, though, as Lew’s intensity apparently went with him, and served him well. He was, as is very evident, yet another WGBH person who has left the business much the richer for his tenure in it.

  2. Paul Noble on November 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Not only was he a great role model for producing and directing in the control room and in the studio, but in the corridor, where he displayed perfect technique in balancing cigarette, coffee and scripts without an ash or drop touching the floor while rushing to his next show. I worked with him on a variety of late 1950’s shows, like “I’ve Been Reading”.

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