The cover, designed to look like the lobby buzzers of an apartment building as a nod to the fact all agency staffs were remote this year, included a sticker reading “I♥MY.” While this may have appeared to be a goof on the ubiquitous “I♥NY” it was actually a salute to late Adweek copy chief Michael Yuhas, who hated typos.
Yuhas, a Vietnam war veteran, served a long stint as Adweek’s copy editor and became a fixture of the office. Known for his curmudgeonly, and initially intimidating, demeanor and dry sense of humor, his regular tongue-in-cheek top 10 lists were always a highlight of our inboxes. For those who left Adweek, he crafted personalized lists that also became a badge of honor.
On this Veterans Day, we remember one of our own.
We were heartbroken to learn yesterday that Mike Yuhas, a Vietnam War vet and Adweek’s indefatigable copy chief for 31 years, died unexpectedly.
— Adweek (@Adweek) November 11, 2020
He will also be remembered for his unique hatred of the ampersand and his anti-ampersand propaganda will retain a place of honor in Adweek’s offices.
His meticulous editing skills, of course, will long be missed. We all learned a lot from Mike about editing, grammar, style and how to cultivate grammar-based grudges against specific logograms. On a few fortunate occasions, we got to give back by teaching him some things as well.
“Whenever I wrote something, I knew that Mike was going to look,” said Doug Zanger, Adweek agencies editor. “On the one hand, that terrified me. On the other hand, and most importantly, I knew that if I messed up, he’d give me helpful feedback. Mike helped me become a better writer and hard-wired some things into me that I won’t forget, and will pass on.”
Our last interaction with Mike here at AgencySpy involved us explaining the term “stan” to him when he reached out with an edit about its use in a Monday Stir. After explaining it, without missing a beat, he responded in typical Yuhas fashion: “… Sorry, but I let my Tiger Beat subscription lapse.”
“That was classic Mike,” said Zanger. “I loved that he dished it out in a way that made me laugh, but forced me to think, too. He was a ‘pro’ in every sense of the word and I’m so pleased that we honored him in this Adweek issue. He would have hated it and loved it at the same time.”