A Pioneer in Sports Broadcasting, Because He loved Sports!
Gil Stratton loved sports from an early age. Gil Stratton went to Poly Prep Country Day High School in Brooklyn, NY and went on the St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where he loved to play sports. He starred as goalie of the SLU hockey team. From early on, he also had a deep love for the circus. He was always impressed with athletic prowess and later in life was even a fan of Cirque du Soleil.
It was always his dream to someday become a radio sportscaster before the genre was defined.
It is fitting that Gil is perhaps best known for his work as a sportscaster. This work crossed over from radio to television and back to radio again. Gil Stratton was there at the dawn of Sports programming. Sports on TV are pervasive today because of satellite technology, but were in their infancy in the 1960’s. Gil was one of the first to do remote broadcasts with the KNX mobile unit in 1958 at the LA Open Golf Tournament. Long before specialized cable TV sports shows, Gil hosted a Saturday afternoon racing show in Los Angeles that went out to all major Western markets. He was also one of the first news entertainment personalities to conquer both the television and radio airwaves simultaneously.
Stratton began working with the CBS familiy in 1954 at KNXT (now CBS2) and spent sixteen years as a sports anchor there and as part of the Big News in the 1960s and 1970s. He later served as a sportscaster for the CBS AM radio station KNX 1070 from 1967 to 1984 and then from 1986 to 1997. He also anchored for metromedia KTTV during the 1970s and 1980s.
As a KNX, Los Angeles sports anchor Gil was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California. The SCSB has served as a major forum for recognizing and advancing sports broadcasting in Southern California since 1958. Its Hall of Fame also includes Dick Enberg, Tom Harmon, Don Drysdale, Chick Hearn, Stu Nahan, Vin Scully and Jim Hill.
At the right is a fun advertisement for Robert G. Metzner Califone Roberts Recorders. In the 1960’s Roberts Recorder ads displayed a high number of significant celebrities endorsing the brand. Robert Metzner said that as they were based in Hollywood, it would be good to profile their recorders with known stars. His first indorsement came from Rudy Vallee. Other endorsees included Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Lewis, Fred MacMurrary and others of the era. http://museumofmagneticsoundrecording.org/StoriesRoberts.html (1960s)