March 21, 2006
Broadcast Pioneers member Allen Stone is most remembered for his 35 year tenure as WFIL’s highly rated morning primetime newscaster and analyst. Known for his dynamic on-air delivery that enabled him to change his style, ensuring his longevity through every change in format, including WFIL’s reign as king of Rock 'n' Roll is Allen.
He launched his broadcast career in the late 40s at WTTM in Trenton where his fellow staff announcers were Ernie Kovacs and Jack Barry. After which he won an on-air position at WIP where John Facenda was instrumental in urging him to pursue a career in news. John sent him to Jack Steck who put him on the air at WFIL and made him the morning newscaster on the Leroy Miller Show — inherited by Phil Sheridan following Leroy’s unfortunate passing.
Allen Stone tells us a little more about Facenda:
I remember those days when John was at WIP, because I was there too, my first job in Philadelphia broadcasting. John and I became close friends. John believed I had a lot going for me, so he called Jack Steck at WFIL and advised him to hire me which Steck did. The rest is history. It was John’s interest in me that opened the door to my own news career.
Phil Sheridan made Allen part of the act and together they brought the WFIL morning show to the top of the charts and kept it there for several years.
Not satisfied with just being a newscaster, Allen pursued higher education at the University of Pennsylvania which sent his news career soaring, with the support and mentoring of Roger Clipp, George Koehler and Lew Klein. Along with Gunnar Back and John Raleigh, he was named a world correspondent for the Triangle stations. He covered the integration struggle at Little Rock. He reported from the capitals of Europe as well as the presidential nominating conventions. He and John Roberts anchored the local elections for both radio and TV. He was also given the privilege of offering analysis and commentary on his morning programs and TV documentaries.
Allen worked with all the greats in Philadelphia radio — not only Leroy Miller and Phil Sheridan, but also Jim O’Brien, Joe Niagara and Dr. Don Rose.
Following his broadcasting career, he earned further plaudits as a senior creative specialist at the Franklin Mint and as Vice President, Creative Director of Devon Direct, the largest ad Agency in the Philadelphia region and an international powerhouse in direct marketing. His book, The Death Of Success, is a fascinating expose of Corporate decision making in the advertising industry.
All this notwithstanding, Allen says his singular distinction was in his bachelor days when he and Wee Willie were roommates on Farragut Terrace in West Philadelphia, down the street from Pop Singer’s famous Bandstand hangout. On Friday, November 17, 2006, Allen Stone was inducted into "The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's Hall of Fame."
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
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