We believe Hall Communications is a special company because of the people who work here, and those who have contributed to the company over the years. One person stands out among the many talented individuals who have built the Hall dream – our founder, Robert M. Hall. Knowing a little about Bob Hall will help you to understand the culture and history of Hall Communications. Bob Hall was born in 1910 of immigrant parents in Providence, Rhode Island. After completing his education at Brown University on a scholarship and later at Columbia School of Journalism, he began his career as a salesman with United Features Syndicate, an affiliate of United Press International. He was named sales manager after just two months on the job.
In 1930 he met his future wife, Ruth Pearl Daniels, at a church picnic, and the two were married on St. Patrick’s Day in 1936. They were married almost 57 years. In 1944, Bob left United Features Syndicate to become President and General Manager of the newly created Post Syndicate formed by Bob and the New York Post. The new syndicate grew quickly under Bob’s leadership with columnists such as: Earl Wilson on Hollywood, F.D.R. Secretary of Interior L. Harold Ickes, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt with “My Day,” Orson Welles with “Almanac,” Sylvia F. Porter with “Money and You,” Victor Riesel with “Inside Labor,” Herblock Cartoons and comic strips like Ed Dodd’s “Mark Trial,” and Walt Kelley’s “Pogo.” The company was renamed the Post-Hall Syndicate in 1944. In 1955, when Bob was just 45 years old, he bought out the rest of the Post’s shares and became sole owner of Hall Syndicate. Along the way columnists like Dr. Norman Vincent Peale with “Inspiration,” Howard K. Smith writing “Global Commentary,” and new comic strips like Hank Ketchem’s “Dennis the Menace,” and Reg Smythe’s “Andy Capp” joined Hall. Hall Syndicate became the largest privately owned newspaper syndicate in the country.
In 1967, Hall Syndicate became Publishers-Hall Syndicate when Bob sold his company to Field Enterprises of Chicago. Meanwhile in 1964, Bob started his second career in radio broadcasting by purchasing his first station in Connecticut. In 1978, Dick Reed was named Group Manager and Executive Vice-President. Dick, Bob and our Business Manager/Corporate Secretary, Evelyn Wolf developed the Hall Radio Group over the next thirteen years. During that time Dick established the annual Hall Sales Workshop, which continues today. In 1991, Art Rowbotham succeeded Bob as President of Hall Communications. Hall Communications continued to grow by expanding from ten radio stations to the twenty-one stations in the group today.
In 1998, I became Chairman of the Board. Bob Hall passed away in December of 1998, and Dick Reed in 2001. While we have all lost two great leaders, and for me a loving father, Hall Communications will always have the benefit of Bob’s and Dick’s vision to promote your growth as well as the growth of Hall Communications. Hall will always be committed to serving our communities. Hall will continue to develop high quality talent, and to provide superior broadcast facilities. That’s why our competitors ask: “What’s with those Hall People?” They just don’t get it, because they do not have it – the Hall pride and spirit.
-Bonnie Hall Rowbotham