Frank Boyle, a 1950 journalism graduate, received the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation’s prestigious Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts award last fall.
He was honored alongside Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Bob Costas, Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, Emmy and Golden Globes nominated actress and Happy Days alum Marion Ross, and others.
“I've been very fortunate,” he said of the recognition. “The award for being a giant of radio was stunning.”
Boyle owes his radio career to a mistake. When he returned from his tour in WWII, his old headmaster in Nashua recommended for him to study chemical science at “Michigan”. He applied to the first address in his book and was quickly accepted at Michigan State. His headmaster intended for him to apply to the University of Michigan.
Well, Boyle was hopeless with chemicals. But he had a natural talent for sales and communications, and MSU was the right place to be.
Boyle earned his degree and went to work in appliances. In another lucky break, a friend brought him over to radio media sales. He was finally in his element. When he tried to explain this to his mother, she said, “I understand. Now you are selling clock radios!”
Boyle leaped from selling airtime to owning the Eastman Radio Company for more than a quarter century. He became one of the most influential figures in the AM radio business. In many ways he is responsible for the success of the national radio networks we enjoy today. In 1986, he started his own media brokerage, and finally retired in Connecticut.
As a proud Spartan, Boyle reflects on his personal and professional experiences with wit and a bit of self-deprecation.
After accepting his award at the ceremony, Boyle took a moment to remember his mother:
“I’m grateful and overcome by this honor. If my mother were alive, God rest her, and I went home to brag about this [award], here’s what she would say: ‘Sonny, you can’t be a giant. It sounds good, but you’re only 5’ 6.” You can’t be a giant in anything!’ That’s what my mother would have said.”
By Jennifer Trenkamp and John Girard