Radio's Stan Major...
Stan has enjoyed three full careers during his years in the broadcasting business. His first was while in his junior year of high school in Effingham, Illinois on WCRA. After graduation and serving in the Army (1954-56) with the Armed Forces Network in Frankfurt, Germany, he attended Bradley University while continuing to jock at WIRL in Peoria. It was there that, as a promotional stunt, he stayed awake for six days in a new car dealer’s showroom setting a new world record at that time. Moving up fast as a jock and programmer, he took on mornings at WPGC in Washington, DC, WCAO Baltimore and, by the time he was 25, Chicago’s WJJD as program director.
Then, a second side of his radio career opened up: radio news. Stan was a newsman at WMEX, Boston’s top rocker, when he broke the story of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He was also senior producer at Gordon McLendon’s all news WNUS in Chicago. Then, with the advent of the Vietnam War, he began to freelance, doing thousands of interviews with servicemen to send back to their hometown stations. Later, he produced and syndicated the first and only regular daily hour-long program from a war zone.
Upon returning from a second tour of Vietnam, Stan began his third career in broadcasting: talk radio. He initiated a nightly talk show on KMBC in Kansas City which began a series of local talk originations stretching from there to St. Louis (WIL) and Milwaukee (WOKY) to New Orleans (WGSO) and Miami (WNUS and WINZ). Included was a stop at Tampa’s WDAE as host of “Talk of Tampa Bay” weeknights from 8 to midnight. But it wasn’t an entirely pleasurable experience there. Along with some others, he lost his job in an attempt by the Teamsters to organize the station’s personnel.
Stan scored his biggest interview scoop at WNUS in Miami when he called Richard Nixon’s private number in San Clemente and woke him up from a nap. The two chatted for about twenty minutes in an interview that was used by hundreds of stations, not only in this country, but as far away as London, Rome and Tokyo.
During the Cuban boat fiasco, Stan was literally run out of Miami because of his opposition to letting the Cubans in. His next stop was WWDB, the Philadelphia FM talker, where he stayed for five years, two of them as PD. When the station was sold, he joined KFYI in Phoenix for a year before returning to Miami to follow phenomenon and long time friend Neil Rogers on WINZ.
When WINZ re-formatted to all news Stan decided to go national with a live all night talk show from Clearwater’s Sun Network. The new show was well met and soon he was on in many major markets – Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles, Cleveland, St. Louis, Boston, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Detroit, New Orleans, Las Vegas Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and of course, Tampa. Through nearly ten years the show was carried on a total of over 500 stations. After that, he moved to mornings with Boston’s National Radio Network.
It should also be mentioned that Stan ran for Congress in 1968 and the Illinois Senate in 1972, and anchored TV news in Rockford and Panama City. But he’ll tell you that the highlight of his broadcasting career was being chosen as NBC News’ Saigon correspondent (1969-70). During his Vietnam tour, he had more reports used on NBC Radio News than anyone…ever!
Today... Stan is semi-retired and makes his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.