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National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day February 24 – Dr. Frank Stanton

No Comments 24 February 2012

Wow Folks,

We’ve got an American Legend as a DPD today. In no short order Dr. Stanton didn’t just make CBS what it is today but he set the foundation for the communications and media research that has been used for the majority of the last half century.

After earning his doctorate from Ohio State he invented a kind of forerunner of the Nielsen audimeter. Dr. Stanton’s device could be installed inside a radio receiver to register what programs listeners were tuning in. Paul Kesten, a CBS executive, was so impressed that he offered Mr. Stanton a job in its two-man research department for $55 a week.

Dr. Stanton remained with the network during World War II while serving as a consultant to the Secretary of War, the Office of War Information and the Office of Facts and Figures. By 1945 he had become vice president and general manager of CBS

Over the next 30 years Dr. Stanton was responsible for the diversification of CBS into TV and other ventures. But he continued to butt heads with the network’s chief executive – William Paley – who eventually really screwed Stanton over.

I’ll let the obit tell the story and I do encourage you to read it through – it’s a dandy. But I’ll leave you with a brief list of what Stanton got up to after he left CBS so anticlimactically…

  • Dr. Stanton was chairman and chief operating officer of the American Red Cross for six years.
  • He served on the boards of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institution, the Stanford Research Institute and Lincoln Center.
  • He was also the first non-Harvard graduate in the 20th century to serve on the Harvard board, and he spent much of the rest of his life in Cambridge, Mass

Not too shabby

Lets do it!

Frank Stanton, Broadcasting Pioneer, Dies at 98

By Holcombe B. Nobel

Frank Stanton, a central figure in the development of television broadcasting in the United States and the industry’s most articulate and persuasive spokesman during his nearly three decades as president of CBS, died Sunday afternoon at his home in Boston, a longtime friend, Elizabeth Allison, said. Continue


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