MYRTLE BEACH, SC – Stephen Gregory (Steve) Porter passed away on Friday at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, SC. The 73 year old journalist spent nearly 50 years covering news stories.
According to the McMillan-Small Funeral Home website, Porter was born January 17, 1940 in Pittsburgh, PA, a son of the late Stephen Geyer and Louise Kusler Porter.
Over the course of a career spanning five decades, Steve Porter set the standard for excellence in broadcast journalism. He began at WFLA Radio and Television while attending St. Petersburg Junior College, during which time he was active in the start-up of a local educational TV station. At nineteen, while attending the University of Miami he began a full-time position with Storer Broadcasting's flagship station, WGBS, where he anchored “Radio Miami”, the four-hour afternoon drive news program.
His career began to take off as he worked starting news departments and anchoring for several Florida radio stations. He took a job in 1964 with KONO-TV in San Antonio, where he had his first contact with presidential politics, freelancing for ABC at the ranch of President Johnson.
Over the following years, Steve worked for Group W in Philadelphia before moving to the largest radio news market in the nation, New York City. There he was the first voice heard on WCBS in their new, all-news radio format. He worked in NYC for sixteen years for WCBS and then NBC before he got the assignment he always wanted in Washington, as NBC Radio correspondent for the Pentagon, State Department, Capitol Hill, and finally at the White House. He spent nine years in the White House Press Corps during the Reagan and Bush administrations, traveling with both presidents on Air Force One, and won the Headliner Award for his coverage of the first Reagan/ Gorbachev Moscow Summit. He was also attached as a pool travel correspondent to Secretary of State Baker in 1989. While attached to Baker, Steve visited 122 countries and reported on the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mideast negotiations, and the Persian Gulf War.
In addition to the Headliner, Steve was also awarded the Peabody, the Ohio State, the Janus Award for economic reporting, the New York Bar Association Award, and received the Alfred I. Dupont nomination for his documentary on the Israeli lobby.
In 1992, after personal tragedy, the deaths from cancer, of his first wife, Rita, and their son, Scott, forced him to leave Washington, Steve settled in Myrtle Beach, where he and Rita had planned to retire. He purchased a share in WRNN radio and became host of the morning show on New Year's Day 1995.
Steve became a pillar of the Myrtle Beach community, contributing to numerous media outlets including WRNN, WBTW, WPDE and as columnist/staff writer at the Myrtle Beach Herald. He is also well known for speaking at numerous local and regional events, teaching extension courses at CCU, and serving on the Boards of Directors for Maisons-sur-Mer and the Long Bay Symphony.
He was an avid boater, an instrument rated pilot, and had a deep passion for jazz and classical music and gourmet cooking.
Survivors include his wife, Robbie Sloan of Myrtle Beach, SC; three children, Jedediah Keck and Sloan Huggins both of Charlotte, NC and Taylor Huggins of Myrtle Beach, SC; a brother, Allan Porter and wife, Claudia of Sarasota Springs, FL.
The family will receive friends at McMillan-Small Funeral Home on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at First Presbyterian Church in Myrtle Beach with Dr. Howard Hansen officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Steve's memory to the Long Bay Symphony, Parkway Center, 950-48th Ave. North, Suite 202, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577.