Veteran Broadcast Exec Howard Stanley Dies


Howard Stanley, 90, veteran radio and TV executive who also serenaded post-war Washington as the Lonesome Guy on then-WEAM(AM), died March 20 in Portsmouth, Va. Stanley began his broadcast career at WGAN Portland, Me., and WGAL(AM) Lancaster, Pa., moving to CBS flagship WTOP(AM) Washington in 1942 as director of public relations and sales manager. In 1944, he was named director of sales and public relations for the CBS Radio Network in New York. Stanley left CBS in 1949 to join WEAM(AM) Washington as VP and general manager, where he also adopted the on-air persona of the Lonesome Guy, wearing a mask and singing love songs and reading love poetry on-air. Far from a lonesome guy himself, Stanley married the former Winifred Elzona Hampton in 1945, a union that was to last 59 years. According to his son, Jeff, Stanley once helped arrange for Frank Sinatra to travel to the Nation's Capital to sing for a single fan. He was also a publicist for radio star Arthur Godfrey . Stanley moved to WAVY(AM) Portsmouth, Va., in 1954, then helped launch NBC affiliate WAVY-TV in that seaport town in 1957.  When WAVY was sold in the late 1950s, Stanley moved into a second career as an advertising executive, including starting his own agencies Caldwell Stanley and Columbia Advertising, the latter an homage to his former home, the Columbia Broadcasting System .

Stanley also taught TV and radio at a local community college and, after a brief retirement in 1982, became executive director of the Norfolk Seamen's Friend Society and International Seamen's House, helping provide spiritual help to merchant seamen.

Stanley is survived by his son, Dr. Jeff Stanley, and a daughter, Linda Stanley Tannehill.