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Broadcast pioneer Frank Stanton dies

Posted at 10:06 AM on December 26, 2006 by Bill Wareham

(Midday will run a rembembrance of Stanton at noon on MPR News stations, streamed live here. Or it's available here for listening at your leisure.)

NEW YORK (AP) - Frank Stanton, a broadcasting pioneer and CBS
president for 26 years who helped turn its TV operation into the
"Tiffany network" and built CBS News into a respected information
source, has died. He was 98.

Stanton died in his sleep at his Boston home on Sunday, said
longtime friend Elisabeth Allison.

"He took an afternoon nap and never woke up," Allison said,
her voice choking with grief.

Stanton once summarized his duties as "keeping the company
going." But during his long association with CBS founder William
S. Paley, the psychologist helped build the company from a modest
chain of radio affiliates into a communications empire whose
centerpiece became the nation's pre-eminent TV network.

"If broadcasting had a patron saint, it would be Frank Stanton.
If CBS is the Tiffany Network, Frank Stanton deserves the lions
share of the credit," said "60 Minutes" creator Don Hewitt.

As the head of CBS beginning in 1946, Stanton oversaw varied
enterprises that included Columbia Records, CBS Laboratories, a
book publisher, a toy maker and, for a brief time, the New York
Yankees.