Frank Stanton was born on March 20, 1908 in Muskegon, Michigan. While attending Ohio Wesleyan University, Stanton became intrigued by the psychology of mass communication, specifically how the new medium of radio affected the attitudes of its listeners.
In 1938, CBS Radio hired Stanton to head their new research department. During this time, Stanton developed “Little Annie,” an electrical device designed to gauge and analyze audience reactions to the specific elements of a radio program. Stanton also initiated the now-common practice of “block programming,” in which similar programs were placed back-to-back on the schedule, creating “blocks” of soap operas during the day and newscasts in the evening.
Stanton became President of CBS in January 1946, a position he held for 27 years. An advocate of First Amendment rights, Stanton worked to insure that broadcast journalism received protection equal to that received by the printed press. He was instrumental in assembling the first televised presidential debate in 1960.
Stanton stepped down as CBS President in 1973 and remained a consultant to the network until 1987.
Frank Stanton died on December 24, 2006.
Frank Stanton was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1990.