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Former WBAL anchor Stan Stovall reflects on 52 years in TV news

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Stan Stovall retired on November 23rd from his long-time post at the WBAL-TV11anchor desk, where he's been one of Baltimore's most beloved and trusted news broadcasters. (WBAL photo)

(This conversation first aired on September 28, 2022)

Good afternoon and welcome to an archive edition of Midday. 

This past Wednesday - the night before Thanksgiving - a beloved Baltimore television newsman made his final appearance in a newscast, before retiring after a 52-year career. Stan Stovall is an award-winning news anchor who has been a fixture on local television for decades. In 1971, at a station in Phoenix, Arizona, Stan became the youngest anchor in the United States, and the first African American anchor in the state of Arizona. He was 18 years old. His career behind the desk and in the field has taken him to Philadelphia and St. Louis, and as a journalist with a keen interest in international affairs, he has reported from Southeast Asia, Central America, Russia, Ukraine, and Italy.

But it is his work at two local stations — WMAR and WBAL — that has endeared him to generations of viewers in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Stan first joined the team at WBAL in 1978, and after about six years, he moved to WMAR TV, the ABC affiliate in Baltimore, where he sat at the anchor desk for 13 years. He re-joined WBAL in 2003. For a while, he anchored the morning broadcast, which began at 5:00 AM, and every day, he came back to the station to lead the 5:00 PM newscast. In 2013, he was named anchor of the 6:00 and 11:00 broadcasts.

This past September, he was inducted into the Gold Circle by the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, in honor of his 50 + years in TV broadcasting. A Gold Circle award is an honor that has been bestowed on only 23 people.

Having made the decision to step away from the anchor desk, we thought it would be great to ask Stan to reflect on his career. As you will hear him explain when he spoke with Tom Hall in late September, the exact date of his final broadcast was a closely held secret.

This Thanksgiving weekend is the first weekend in what we hope will be Stan's long and happy retirement.

Stan Stovall joined Tom in Studio A.

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