Lawton_Jan Stratton has been a daily part of many of Texoman's lives for close to 30 years. From triumphs to tragedies, Texoma has counted on her to share the stories that affect us, and our communities. Thursday night, Jan will be honored for her work by her friends and colleagues as she becomes the newest member of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Most people know Jan as the News Anchor, but for most of her career, she ran the news operations at KSWO 7News. She has made us laugh, and sometimes made reporters mad. But, most of all she made us thinking about the viewer.
Jan's love for theater and performing made her the perfect choice for an afternoon talk show at KSWO in the early 1980s. But, that was just the beginning of her broadcasting career. "A lot of stations were going to a male female dual anchor, and so I talked to our owner and she started anchoring and reporting," says KSWO General Manager Larry Patton.
A short time later, Jan became the News Director of Action 7 News. Now, she not only had to worry about what went on air, she was also responsible for the people who made it possible. Former KSWO Anchor Robin Marsh is just one of Jan's numerous success stories. Although Robin says she originally turned down Jan's job offer when she was 18. "She really gave me an opportunity of a lifetime," says Robin. "She said 'Can you start?' and I said, 'I'm going snow skiing,' and she said, 'You don't get the job.'"
But, Jan didn't give up. She called Robin back on her 19th birthday, and offered her a job as a behind the scenes production assistant. "I think what is so great about Jan is she is a person who is not afraid to come along side and support you," says Robin.
Robin, of course, isn't the only one who has fond memories of Jan. Blaise Labbe is now a News Director in Oklahoma City. "I was running studio cameras and mopping floors with Robin Marsh," says Blaise. "Jan is one of the most passionate news people I've ever met in my life. She cares about the community, and she care about the stories and product you put on air. But most importantly she cares about the people."
Nicole Jolly was working in a shoe store in Central Mall when she first met Jan. She brought Nicole on board, at first behind the camera. But, she quickly became a familiar face at 7News. "She helped me grow and develop, and she did that for hundreds of people," says Nicole. "If you look all around the country, there's basically Stratton's flock out there."
Former SkyWARN 7 Meteorologist Andy Wallace should know - he's one of Jan's flock. Jan hired him while he was still in college. "There's a lady who's absolutely made an impact on Oklahoma broadcasting," he says. "She has weathered everything. She's just so dynamic, she just kind of draws you in. "I wouldn't be where I am today...I think it's all because of her - a lot of it."