Stan Zemanek

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Stan Zemanek
Stan Zemanek.jpg
Born(1947-05-29)29 May 1947
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died12 July 2007(2007-07-12) (aged 60)
OccupationRadio and television presenter
Years active1978−2006
Known for2UE, Beauty and the Beast
Spouse(s)Marcella Zemanek

Stan Zemanek (29 May 1947 – 12 July 2007) [1] was an Australian radio broadcaster, television presenter, radio producer and author who presented a popular night-time show on The Macquarie Network station 2UE in Sydney and which was networked across parts of Australia via Southern Cross.

Macquarie Media Limited is an Australian media company, operating radio stations nationally in the capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, as well as regional Queensland, it is based in the Sydney suburb of Pyrmont. It is a publicly listed company, majority owned by Nine Entertainment Co. It also operates news service Macquarie National News. The company was originally founded in 1938 as the Macquarie Broadcasting Service, adopting its current name after being acquired by Fairfax in 2015.

Sydney State capital of New South Wales and most populous city in Australia and Oceania

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Southern Cross Broadcasting

Southern Cross Broadcasting (Australia) Limited was a diversified Australian media company, that owned and operated a variety of media businesses, primarily radio and television.


He was known for his forthright, generally right-wing [2] views and for trading abusive remarks with some of his callers. He was also the 13th and longest-serving "Beast" on the popular panel TV talk show, Beauty and the Beast .

Beauty and the Beast is an Australian panel television show that has appeared in numerous versions since the early days of Australian television. The first version began in 1963 on the Seven Network with host Eric Baume as the "Beast". Baume was later replaced by presenters including John Laws, Stuart Wagstaff, Noel Ferrier and Rex Mossop. The original "Beauties" included Maggie Tabberer, Dita Cobb, Ena Harwood, Pat Firman, Patricia Lovell, Hazel Phillips, Noeline Brown and Freda Lesslie.


Zemanek was born and raised in Sydney, New South Wales, but began working in radio as a researcher for Radio C-Fun 141 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He worked as a producer on the John Laws program in Australia starting in 1978, before returning to North America for some years, where he covered the 1983 America's Cup. He spent a decade presenting on 2UE late at night beginning in 1987. He spent a year in 2000 presenting the 2GB morning shift. [3] [4] [5] Zemanek moved to Melbourne for a short stint with 3AW's drive program in 2002 before moving back to Sydney and 2UE in 2003, having failed to garner ratings, and publicly falling out with several members of the 3AW's broadcast team. [6] [7]

Vancouver City in British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada with over 5,400 people per square kilometre, which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America behind New York City, Guadalajara, San Francisco, and Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. Roughly 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage. Vancouver is classed as a Beta global city.

Richard John Sinclair Laws, CBE, also known as Lawsie, was from the 1970s until his retirement in 2007, the host of an Australian morning radio program combining music with interviews, opinion, live advertising readings and listener talkback. His distinctive voice earned him the nickname "the Golden Tonsils".

The 1983 America's Cup was the occasion of the first winning challenge to the New York Yacht Club, which had successfully defended the cup over a period of 132 years. An Australian syndicate representing the Royal Perth Yacht Club fielded the Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand, against defender Liberty, skippered by Dennis Conner. Australia II won the match races to win the America's Cup, ending the longest winning streak in sporting history and ending U.S. domination of the racing series.

While popular with much of his audience, Stan often boasted about being the most complained-about broadcaster in the country, polarising opinions of those who didn't agree with his right-wing beliefs. He was not shy to admit that he was politically biased and often criticised "idiot Labor voters" for not doing the same. His most commonly used terms were "numb nuts", "turn it up", "half-wit", "oxygen thief", "left-wing looney", "give yourself an uppercut" and "typical Labor voter"; and he once asked a caller who sounded to be a little slow 'are you smoking the wacky-tobacky', a slang reference to marijuana. [8]

Idiot Person of low intelligence

Idiot was formerly a legal and psychiatric category of profound intellectual disability in which a person's mental age is two years or less, and he or she cannot guard against common dangers. Along with terms like moron, imbecile, and cretin, the term is now archaic and offensive, and was replaced by the term "profound mental retardation".

Australian Labor Party Political party in Australia

The Australian Labor Party is a major centre-left political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at the federal level since the 2013 election. The party is a federal party with branches in each state and territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and in both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state levels. It is the oldest political party in Australia.

Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. It typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished. The term left-wing can also refer to "the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system".

In 2003, following his return to 2UE, he received a bombardment of calls from a number of people he referred to as 'The Phone Box Boys', thinking they were all calling him from a phone box. The calls would sometimes reach 20 a night, and would spin several staples of Zemanek such as sound effects, on Stan himself. This led to an enormous spike in his ratings for the period of March–July 2003.

Zemanek had an ongoing rivalry with fellow 2UE colleague and breakfast host Mike Carlton, ever since Carlton revealed on-air that Zemanek was about to move to 2GB. An angry Zemanek called for Carlton to be sacked and for the Australian Broadcasting Authority to investigate him for "irresponsible journalism". The "debate" between the two broadcasters degenerated over the next few days, with Carlton calling Zemanek "a little shit", "a village idiot", and "a stunted runt" and Zemanek calling Carlton "a turd" and "a ponce" with "his head up his backside". [9] After Zemanek's death, Carlton stated on his breakfast show at 2UE that he hated Zemanek and would only attend his funeral to check that he was really dead, causing 2UE management to publicly denounce Carlton. Carlton made his comment while showbiz reporter Peter Ford was doing a report on Zemanek's funeral. At the time Ford made light of Carlton's comments. On reflection, however, he was disgusted and blasted Carlton on 2UE that day. Ford explained that Zemanek was a mentor and friend and that he was disgusted with what Carlton had said. Ford resigned from his spot on Carlton's program (but continues to report for other 2UE programs). [10]

Mike Carlton Australian journalist

Mike Carlton is an Australian media commentator and author. He formerly co-hosted the daily breakfast program on Sydney radio station 2UE with Peter FitzSimons and later Sandy Aloisi.

2GB radio station

2GB is a commercial radio station in Sydney, Australia broadcasting on 873 kHz, AM. In 2010, 2GB held 14.7% of the total radio ratings share, making it the most widely listened-to radio station in Sydney.

The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) was an Australian government agency whose main roles were to regulate broadcasting, radiocommunications and telecommunications.

Personal life

Stan and his wife, Marcella Zemanek, had two daughters, Gaby and Melissa, and two grandchildren at the time of his death. [11] After moving to Melbourne (where Australian rules football is the dominant football code), he elected to support the Carlton Football Club. [12]

Australian rules football Contact sport invented in Melbourne

Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, or simply called Aussie rules, football or footy, is a contact sport played between two teams of eighteen players on an oval-shaped field, often a modified cricket ground. Points are scored by kicking the oval-shaped ball between goal posts or between behind posts.

Carlton Football Club Australian rules football club

The Carlton Football Club, nicknamed the Blues, is an Australian rules football club based in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1864 in Carlton, an inner suburb of Melbourne, the club competes in the Australian Football League, and was one of the competition's eight founding member clubs in 1897.

Ill-health, retirement and death

Zemanek was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, [13] an aggressive brain tumor that is almost universally fatal within a few years, in May 2006. [14] Treatment included chemotherapy and radiotherapy in addition to surgery performed by Charles Teo. [13] After rumours in 2006, Zemanek's retirement and intention to look after his health and spend time with his family was announced on 9 December 2006. [14] His final show went to air on 22 December 2006. [15] Many in the commercial radio industry paid tribute to Zemanek on-air, including his former on-air colleagues and, later, rivals (on 2GB), Alan Jones and Ray Hadley.

While Zemanek intended to return to Beauty and the Beast in early 2007, [16] and he celebrated his 60th birthday with former Beauty and the Beast co-stars, [17] his health deteriorated in retirement. In June 2007, he and his wife cut short a planned holiday due to illness and in early July 2007 his family announced that he was dying. [18] [19] He died in his sleep in the early hours on 12 July 2007. [20] His funeral, open to the public, was held on 17 July 2007, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in North Sydney and was followed by a private cremation. [21] [22]

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  2. Australian Associated Press (12 July 2007). "Shock jock Stan Zemanek dies". . Retrieved 13 July 2007.[ dead link ]
  3. "stan's biography". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2007.
  4. Perkin, Corrie (10 March 2002). "Stan and deliver". The Age . Retrieved 5 July 2007.
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  6. Farouque, Farah (23 January 2003). "'Name' male to replace Zemanek at 3AW". The Age . Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  7. Carbone, Suzanne (8 December 2004). "3AW picks up after Stan". The Age . Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  8. Leech, Graeme (13 July 2007). "Shock jock who never sold out". The Australian . Retrieved 17 July 2007.[ permanent dead link ]
  9. Javes, Sue (28 January 2003). "The ego has landed". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 4 March 2007.
  10. Connolly, Fiona (19 July 2007). "Carlton's career under threat". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 19 July 2007.
  11. Zemanek, Marcella (13 July 2007). "Stan's widow tells of final days". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  12. Jim Main, Aussie rules for dummies (2nd edition, 2008), p. 252.
  13. 1 2 Javes, Sue (21 September 2006). "Even ailing, jock shocks". The Age . Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  14. 1 2 Lee, Sandra (10 December 2006). "'Mellower' Stan Zemanek to quit radio". The Sunday Telegraph . Retrieved 5 July 2007.[ dead link ]
  15. Australian Associated Press (22 October 2006). "Shock jock Zemanek calls it quits". Yahoo!7 News. Retrieved 5 July 2007.[ dead link ]
  16. Clune, Richard (4 February 2007). "Zemanek's Beast is back". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  17. Sydney Confidential (15 June 2007). "Stan's birthday beastly, beaut". The Daily Telegraph . Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2007.
  18. Connolly, Fiona (5 July 2007). "Death within days for shock jock". Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  19. Gibson, Jano (5 July 2007). "Shock jock Zemanek 'has days to live'". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  20. Connolly, Fiona (12 July 2007). "Stan a fighter to the very end". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 13 July 2007.
  21. Australian Associated Press (12 July 2007). "Zemanek funeral on Tuesday". The Daily Telegraph . Retrieved 13 July 2007.[ dead link ]
  22. Narushima, Yuko (17 July 2007). "Stan was 'romantic and funny'". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 17 July 2007.