Broadcast veteran Sam Stallworth dies after battle with lung cancer

Tue, December 02, 2003 by Mark Kroeger

CINCINNATI – Samuel S. Stallworth Jr., vice president and general manager of WFTS-TV in Tampa, died peacefully Monday, Dec. 1, at Tampa General Hospital surrounded by his family. Stallworth, 57, had been diagnosed with lung cancer in October. A broadcast television industry veteran with 30 years of advertising sales and TV station management experience, Stallworth had been vice president and general manager of WFTS for three years. WFTS, an ABC network affiliate, is owned and operated by The E.W. Scripps Company.“Sam was the rarest of executives who could lead the charge as a successful general manager, while at the same time demonstrating his respect and loyalty to the individuals who carried out the mission,” said John Lansing, senior vice president/television for Scripps. “His countless friends in the broadcasting business are the best memorial to Sam's accomplished career.” Stallworth came to WFTS from WSYX-TV, the ABC network affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, where he had served from 1995 to 2000 as vice president and general manager. Prior to 1995, he had served five years in New York as vice president of sales for the CBS-owned television stations. Stallworth’s career in broadcast television began in 1973 as an account executive and regional sales manager for WXIA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Atlanta. In 1977 he was named manager of spot sales for CBS, and in 1981 moved to Chicago where he served for the next nine years as director of sales for CBS-owned WBBM-TV.Stallworth, who had a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Alabama, was a member of the National Association of Television Program Executives, the Television Bureau of Advertising and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.Stallworth is survived by his wife, Shelley; two daughters, Shannon Hesse and her husband, Andrew, of Louisville, Ky., and Regan Deering and her husband, Bryan, of Chicago; a son, Eric Adreas of Decatur, Ill.; his parents, Beverly and Samuel S Stallworth Sr. of Manchester, N.H.; and two granddaughters, Claire and Sara Evelyn Hesse.Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Blount, Curry and Roel Funeral Home in Tampa. A Memorial Celebration at Old Memorial Golf Club in Tampa will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. Memorial contributions can be sent in lieu of flowers to:The Moffitt Foundation PO Box 550985Tampa, FL 33655 Please specify the donation is for lung cancer research in memory of Sam Stallworth.Tampa General HospitalC/O Lea ShappeeDirector of Development ProjectsP.O. Box 1289Tampa, Florida 33601-1289 Please specify the donation is in memory of Sam Stallworth.

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