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Broadcast pioneer Frank Stanton dies

Marketplace Staff Dec 26, 2006

Remembering Frank Stanton, 1908-2006
Bill Buzenberg looks back at Frank Stanton’s career.
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Frank Stanton’s bio (PDF)
Memoirs of Frank Stanton


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The man who helped build CBS Television into the “Tiffany network,” has died.

Frank Stanton became CBS president in 1946 and remained at the helm for 26 years.

The New York Times called Stanton a central figure in the development of television broadcasting in the United States — and the industry’s most articulate and persuasive spokesman.

He helped build CBS News into a respected information source.

CBS veteran newsman Walter Cronkite:

WALTER CRONKITE: He understood the necessity of freedom of a news organization to operate without any impingement from the business side or any part of the management side.

Frank Stanton was the right-hand man of William S. Paley, the tycoon who built the Columbia Broadcasting System. Theirs was a long and sometimes tense association.

In 1971 he bore much of the criticism when Washington objected to the network’s coverage of the war in Vietnam.

CBS had broadcast an hour-long investigative documentary called “The Selling of the Pentagon.”

That program reported on the U.S. military’s massive public relations activities and the broadcast infuriated some members of Congress.

When Stanton was called before a House committee, he refused to surrender notes and outtakes from the report.

FRANK STANTON: I almost went to jail to fight for the right of CBS News to broadcast or to report on the military’s public relation techniques, which we though should come to the attention of the American people.

Marketplace has the privilege of broadcasting from studios in Los Angeles named in his honor.

Frank Stanton died at his home in Boston. He was 98.

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