The Houston Association of Black Journalists (HABJ) mourns the passing of award-winning media pioneer, educator and former HABJ President Alma Newsom.

Newsom, the owner of Newsom Media Group, served as a reporter, news anchor, talk show host and program director at KHOU-TV from 1971-1984, breaking ground as either the first or among the first African-American females to hold those positions.

“A talented writer, eloquent speaker, and trailblazing executive, Alma Newsom left a memorable footprint in Houston media,” HABJ President Jerome Solomon said. “She is the definition of a difference-maker. Some of the finest journalists in Houston count her as a mentor and friend, as she taught some, hired many and advised countless others.”

After leaving television, Newsom served as Communications Director for Texas Congressman Mickey Leland, and was lauded for the professional dignity she displayed while speaking for his family and staff in the aftermath of his death.

Newsom’s Washington D.C. work also included being a Media Specialist for the Immigration & Naturalization Service. Locally, she was on the Houston and Harris County Sports Facility Public Advisory Committee.

A Texas Southern University graduate, Newsom was an assistant telecommunications professor at her alma mater, teaching courses in business communication, broadcast writing, broadcast practices and production.

An advocate for diversity in the workplace, she was a powerful voice in the business community, who worked to bring change to many professional environments through her corporate and executive training programs.

HABJ extends its deepest condolences to Newsom’s family and friends.

Funeral services will be held Friday, Nov. 11 (10:00 a.m. viewing; 11:00 a.m. celebration), at Abiding Faith Baptist Church (15376 Fondren Rd., Missouri City, TX 77489).