This Was ‘Frank Stacy With the News’
CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Some people called him the newshound, Les Nessman of WKRP, Howard Cosell, or even Mr. Burns on the Simpsons, but Frank Stacy will always be remembered as a dedicated broadcaster of local news in Clarion and Venango Counties.
(Pictured above, left to right: Frank Stacy, Laura Myneir, Ton Smith, Wayne Brosius, and Ed Fisher are featured in the above photo of the Clarion Broadcasting staff from the mid-90s. Photo courtesy of Bill Hearst.)
“This is Frank Stacy with the news” aired on WWCH from 1998 until 2012 in Clarion, and many still can offer an impression of the introduction.
Frank, 74, passed away peacefully on September 12, 2022, at Christ, King Manor in DuBois.
Frank was from the Toledo, Ohio area, and during his last few years in Clarion, he suffered from a debilitating disease that affected movement and ability to balance, according to coworker and Clarion County Commissioner Wayne Brosius.
“He was a man that stuck to the facts,” said current C93 and WWCH DJ Jesse Ferris. “I would say he was an absolute stickler for details and an ever so stubborn news director who was simply loved by everybody, He was just absolutely awesome.”
Frank was an Eagle Scout and attended Bowling Green University in his earlier years.
Former DJ Scuba Steve Truitt tells of the times he rode with him out to Toledo to his parents’ duplex that he kept out there even though his parents didn’t live there.
“I’d ride out with him with my push mower, and I would help him mow and clean up his yard, and we’d drive right back from Toledo. We’d be there for like 45 minutes and then drive back home.
“The parents had long since passed, but he still tried to keep the property in shape. One time he had a squatter living in there, so we had to stop on one of the lower streets and look up to see if anybody was in his house before we could go up to it.”
Frank was always proud about being able to provide the news no matter what the weather conditions and one time told Steve that he was working at a radio station in Ashtabula, Ohio, and the snow and blizzards were so bad, that he had to ride on a snowmobile to get to do the reporting.
Frank even had a story about the wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald.
“When Frank was younger, his brother worked for the parent company that cleaned up after the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck. He told me that somewhere in his apartment, he had a piece of a life preserver from the Edmund Fitzgerald that his brother had gotten when they were out collecting debris after it had sunk.”
Frank himself always managed to keep many things in his office. He typed all of his news reports and then kept them in his files. He also kept an extensive collection of local newspapers in the same office and would rewrite some of the stories, saying according to published stories before he announced the news. The piles of newspapers often reached the ceiling of a small office.
Frank also had a favorite flavor for donuts, and it was Raspberry, Bismarck.
“Every time we would go out, that’s what he wanted along with Turner’s peach iced tea,” said Steve.
Clarion radio stations had an opening for a news director, and owner Bill Hearst picked Frank Stacy who was already a popular news broadcaster in Oil City.
“He covered all of the meetings, and he was on the air every day,” remembered Hearst. “He always had a scanner, and if anything happened in town, Frank knew about it. I had to go buy these expensive scanners in the old days. He had a scanner here and there with an antenna on top. You could listen to just about any 911 from Warren to Pittsburgh. I remember his landlady got into a car wreck in Jamestown, New York, and Frank found out about it and reported on it. She couldn’t believe it.
“He was a very, very dedicated employee, and he pretty much just lived and breathed radio. Yeah. And as far as the news one, he was on top of everything. He was here all the time. He covered the meetings. He did a really good job with his interviews and his stories with actualities.”
Frank was always fair about police reports, and one time he even reported on himself.
“If you got in trouble with the police, he reported about you no matter who you were,” said Brosius. “The funny thing about it was he held himself to that same standard. I remember one time he got a citation for something from the police, and he did a story about himself and read it on the air.
Frank got mad while driving and was charged with road rage by police after he yelled at a lady. He decided to report the charge on the radio, but he used his real name Francis Stacy Mroczkowski for the story. One can only guess if he used his dominant radio voice to yell at the lady.
“His passion was covering the news in the audio format,” Brosius said. “Not print, but, radio. He was always trying to get a sound bite from somebody making news or somebody at a groundbreaking event or, what have you.
“I remember he’d used to have a big boom that he would carry around to meetings. He would attach his microphone to the end of that and reach it over and try to put it as close to the person’s mouth as possible. A lot of people have told me now that they did not like that. Anyway, that’s what he did to try to get a good sound bite.”
Frank also loved breaking news in the radio format because in those days, the newspapers couldn’t get it on until the next day.
He left radio broadcasting in 2012. His health started to fail in later years, and he couldn’t walk normally, and then he couldn’t drive anymore.
“I started driving him around to the grocery store about once a week and an occasional doctor appointment when I could twist his arm enough to go there. He was pretty much a loner who lived by himself until he was taken into a care facility in DuBois about two years ago.”
You can almost hear: “This has been Frank Stacy with the news, and I am out of here.”
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