NELSON LEWIS is a seasoned Georgia-based television producer, and one of America’s most provocative media personalities. His interests include aviation, international travel, politics, piano, Steve Winwood and, most importantly, all things journalism! Frequent travel and exposure to a vast arrays of cultures and languages provided influences for the media maven and self-admitted political wonk’s staunch interest in foreign and domestic policy, in turn fueling a keen interest in politics and journalism.
Nelson credits his affinity for conservative politics and monetarist beliefs mainly to his grandfather and mentor, J. Curtis Lewis, Jr. who held the distinction of being the first Republican mayor of a Georgia city since Reconstruction when elected mayor of Savannah in 1966. A noted philanthropist and visionary entrepreneur, the senior Lewis served as a great role model for Nelson, who has been actively involved in the Republican Party since he was in high school. The media strategist has been called the John F Kennedy of Savannah by PEOPLE Magazine, only upon responding to a question regarding what his family was like by answering about a family member’s college nickname, not coining the term as the headline suggests and is thankfully later explained – nevertheless, Lewis is humbled by his forebears and knows how incredibly blessed he is to be able to utilize his gifts to help others through his entrepreneurial mind and gift of strategic communication. He has never strayed away from controversy and was even once called “Washington media’s most exquisite creature” by what’s now known as ADWEEK many years before he became the series narrator for much of the first season of BRAVO hit Southern Charm Savannah. It was such privilege to have the platform of the highly rated network to put his own take on life in both Washington and Savannah on everything from performance art to daily life. You can catch some of his thoughts on dating in Washington courtesy of FOXNEWS.com courtesy of his Youtube Channel among other highlights.
At the age of 8 Nelson wrote his childhood hero Peter Jennings asking him to save his job for him. From 1995-1999 Lewis served as a reporter/anchor at WJCL the ABC affiliate in his hometown of Savannah and concurrently on WTGS the market’s FOX affiliate, one of the nation’s first duopolies then owned by his grandfather. There was no local news for area youth’s so sensing a void in the market he became the market’s first “kids reporter” and eventually “teen beet anchor”. In fact one year into his tenure at the ABC/FOX duo the market’s competing station the NBC affiliate went and bought on a kids reporter. Like the say imitation is the highest form of flattery. It was Nelson’s distinct privilege to produce over 80 news packages that aired on the Sunday news at 6,7,10 and 11pm (6 and 11 on WJCL and 7 and 10 on WTGS on everything ranging from sun safety, summer reading, homework, and even school uniforms just to name a few.
Nelson Lewis has volunteered for various political campaigns over the years including the campaigns of Mel Martinez while in south florida during his undergraduate studies and George W. Bush while in high school, and credits his own conservative philosophy and passion for both limited government and lower taxes to growing up in a environment where business was front and center. Nelson’s preliminary understanding of economics was learned firsthand from his Savannah-based automobile distributor father Walter, in addition to his grandfather. While in graduate school, Nelson became close friends with Patrick Graham, the co-founder of Bain and Company, who hired former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for his first job and subsequently together formed its subsidiary Bain Capital. Mr. Graham’s inside knowledge of corporate acquisitions, private equity and managerial consulting were a thrill for Nelson to become inure to, especially during the Presidential Election of 2012.
While attending Lynn University, Nelson Lewis hosted a political show called Politijam for two years. The show became extremely popular and well-known both on campus and in the Boca Raton community on Boca’s 96.1 – Lynn Radio. Nelson graduated summa cum laude from Lynn University in 2006, and was awarded its faculty-voted Gordon and Mary Henke Excellence in Communication Award which recognizes the student who has excelled in the communications program and has the potential for an outstanding career in the field of communications. He represented the institution at the 2006 annual meeting of the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas. While at Lynn University Lewis served on the prestigious Knights of The Rountable Organization and represented the entire student body along with one of his peers on Lynn’s Academic Task Force on a complete overhaul of the University’s core curriculum. He even penned a letter to the editor eulogizing his college mentor, NBC News great Irving R Levine who served as the Dean of Lynn’s College of International Communication reminding American’s that the entire financial news landscape would not exist in today’s fashion if it weren’t for Levine who founded the precursor to what’s now known as CNBC, The Financial News Network. Nelson felt so blessed to have been the only former student of Levine’s to have been asked to speak at a roast honoring the late newsman at the National Press Club (where he would later become a member) after Marvin Kalb, a former moderator of Meet The Press now of Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center. That letter went on to receive another mention on the same publication’s website.
Immediately following graduation Nelson moved to Washington, DC, Nelson served as a press intern for his local congressman Jack Kingston and helped create “Journeys with Jack,” an innovative video blog series chronicling the daily activities of the Congressman. In September of 2006, Nelson joined the talent booking team of the Fox News Channel’s (FNC) DC Bureau and subsequently enrolled in Georgetown University’s Masters in journalism program in political journalism in 2009 and attended on days off and/or in the evenings. The showcase project of his studies at Georgetown University was a comprehensive long form feature on one of the key players in the demise of the US Fairness Doctrine, Bruce Fein, entitled “Bruce Fein: America’s Constitutional Philosopher”.
As a booker at FNC, Nelson primary responsibility was finding guests to appear on the FNC’s weekend programming, working tirelessly with guests, producers and anchors, paying meticulous attention to every detail to ensure that every aspect of the interview segment ran smoothly. Nelson was afforded the opportunity to meet with countless major celebrities such as political and entertainment luminaries on a daily basis, getting to know the in and outs of how the news industry, politics and DC work.
While working in the booking unit at America’s most watched cable network, Nelson frequently found experts to discuss various subjects of national interest and breaking news. Many of the guests Nelson booked on Fox for the first time still to this day appear on the channel. Working at Fox proved to be a great launching pad and cornerstone for Nelson’s career in broadcast television, equipping him with extensive national media contacts and experience booking produce countless cable TV segments. It was the perfect place for an ambitious young conservative like Nelson Lewis. Upon leaving Fox News Channel, Nelson went on to briefly serve both as the Senior Producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and as a freelance writer for the PBS hit weekly roundtable show The Mcglaughlin Group prior to forming a women’s golf TV network alongside 4 time LPGA Major winner Hollis Stacy, Her Golf Network (HGN). Lewis created an advisory panel of several media and business executives spearheaded by his dear friend Patrick Graham in 2011 to plan HGN’s creation which occurred later that year. Lewis divested his interests in 2014.
In 2008, Nelson became friends with noted Washington arts patron Barbara Gordon, who shared his affinity for Latin American art and subsequently became active in the DC arts. Ms. Gordon, who was then-chairman of the Friends of the Art Museum of The Americas of The Organization of American States (OAS), appointed Lewis to the board in 2008 and would go on to serve until 2011 as one of the youngest appointed board members of the organization to date. Nelson’s passion of the Spanish language and of the art of Fernando Botero fueled his desire and commitment to spreading promotion of Latin American and Caribbean art in the United States and subsequent commitment to serve the organization.
“The origin of AMA | Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States (OAS) dates back to 1917 with the establishment of the Visual Arts Unit of the then Pan American Union. The OAS is the region’s premier forum for multilateral dialogue and joint action. The OAS mission is an unequivocal commitment to democracy, good governance, human rights, peace, security, and development… In 1976 this unit became AMA, which is now housed in one of the OAS’ iconic buildings designed by noted architect Paul Crét in 1912. ” –OAS
Starting January of 2014 while recovering in Savannah from bilateral wrist (scaphoid) fractures, Nelson began volunteering at the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer Research Pavilion (LCRP) at St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System (SJ/CHS) as a grant writer focusing on survivorship oncology research and as a Spanish medical interpretor at the hospital system’s affiliated facility, the Good Samaritan Clinic – an entirely volunteer run medical clinic serving area homeless. In addition to excellent patient care, the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion is a freestanding 62,000 square foot facility which represents a more than $50 million dollar investment in our community in both technology and infrastructure and is the region’s only NCI selected cancer center, holding the distinction as the first community cancer in Georgia to be selected in 2007 for the National Community Cancer Centers Program now known as NCORP. The LCRP was among 11 “lead hospital” sites selected nationally of the 16 initially selected – then the NCCCP was a pilot program and the LCRP was continually renewed in its selection/participation until the program became known as the National Community Oncology Research Program of the National Cancer Institute. “NCCCP created a network that was composed of community hospitals and hospital systems committed to contributing to basic, clinical, and population-based research initiatives. Six goals were established: to reduce disparities in cancer care, increase patient participation in clinical trials, improve the quality of cancer care, enhance survivorship and palliative care services, expand the use of electronic health records, and promote collection of high-quality biospecimens for genomic research.4 The NCCCP pilot phase lasted from 2007 through 2010. Although the NCI subsequently decided to replace the NCCCP program in 2014 by integrating aspects of it into the newly formed NCI Community Oncology Research Program,” –NIH PMC4960457
“In an effort to consolidate the work of 2 different programs targeting community oncologists and hospitals, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is merging its NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) and Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) into a single program to be known as the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (N‐CORP).” N-CORP is now comprised of 46 sites nationally. The LCRP’s medical director plays a vital component in bringing the latest access to the latest clinical trials to patients in their communities as co-principal investigator of the Savannah arm of Georgia NCORP along with Northside Hospital’s Cancer Research Institute in Atlanta served as a co-applicant for the program along with SJ/CHS with active participation from Georgia Center for Oncology Research & Education (CORE) and its affiliates. St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System’s Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion and Northside Hospital’s Cancer Institiute are the state’s two largest community oncology clinical trial programs.
In addition to volunteering, Nelson works in various freelance television/journalistic capacities in the great state of Georgia, and is a leading opinion maker featured throughout many of America’s leading media outlets. He enjoys snow skiing, deep sea fishing, foreign languages and flying. His passion for aviation began as a child flying frequently with his father, who flies recreationally and was fortunate to have grown up in a television newsroom helping fuel his love for meteorology and currently operates Georgia’s northernmost weather sensor. Lewis holds membership in the National Press Club of Washington and also in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter (NCCB) where he is blessed to be asked to regularly vote in the regional Emmy awards for sister chapter’s across the nation as well as holds membership in Old Dominion Boat Club of Virginia, the birthplace of scholastic rowing in The Commonwealth.