story and photo by Mike Lee, Staff Writer
Stan Miller drove through the McDonald’s drive-thru a few months back near Bristow to order a coffee for himself and his wife.
“That will be 88 cents,” the young lady politely informed him.
“No, that’s not right,” Miller said. “It should be more.”
“Well, sir,” the young lady explained. “You do get your senior discount.”
“No, I’ll pay full price,” Miller said, handing the cashier $2 and driving on down the road.
Quite simply, Miller refuses to age. And while the years may be adding up the affable Miller still looks, sounds and feels like a much younger man.
“I can’t believe I’m 60,” says Miller, who can be seen each weekday morning co-hosting News9 This Morning with the much younger Bobbie Miller. “I still feel and I’m as fit as I was at 40. Unless someone brings it up it just doesn’t register with me.”
A quarter of century in California may have something to do with that. While on the coast, Miller ran marathons and half marathons in and around the San Diego area.
He embraced the California diet and lifestyle and spent most of his time outdoors.
It wasn’t always that way. Ask him what’s brought him to this point and there’s twists and turns and one major high.
“Well, God,” Miller answered. “I became a Christian at 21 years old.”
Miller admits a life of dysfunction before he was saved, following his mother through multiple divorces and hurt feelings.
From a motel room by a church in Del City, Miller started doing odd jobs and began building a solid work ethic.
He started working for a local sporting goods store and quickly worked his way up to general manager.
But he wondered if there was more in store for him than working in a store.
“Just out of the blue I decided to see if I could get a scholarship to Central State University,” Miller said. “I walked in off the street at 24 years old and asked if they had any grant money and they gave me a full ride.”
From there an internship at KOCO followed. He was granted a second internship based on his age.
“Basically what I did was every waking hour I wasn’t in school I was there learning the business,” Miller said. “They started using me as a reporter and photographer.”
He co-hosted a show with Karen Carney for a while in the 1980s before heading off to bigger markets.
San Diego would be where Miller would spend the next 25 years and raise his three children.
When he came back from the West Coast he had a rude awakening.
“It was culture shock,” Miller said. “Massive.”
But one thing that remained the same was the Oklahoma welcome.
“People in San Diego, they care but they don’t show it,” Miller said about the general reaction to his profession. “Oklahomans are passionate about their news people. You have to run the gauntlet to make it here. When people found out I was an Okie it wasn’t as hard for me.”
“I pity people who come in and try to anchor the news from outside the market. Oklahomans are fiercely loyal.”
Miller joined News 9 in June 2010.
He readily admits that he’s been somewhat of a news nomad.
Previously in his career, Miller anchored at KUSI-TV and KFMB-TV in San Diego as well as in Cleveland, Ohio, Dallas, Texas, Miami Florida, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Miller began his broadcast career in Oklahoma City in 1980 working as a disc jockey for KJIL Radio and then served as News Director at KKLR.
When he’s not on air, you can find Miller stumping for one of his causes.
Miller has served on the board of directors of several organizations including the San Diego Chapter of the American Liver Foundation; Camp Hope, a summer camp for severely abused children; and Care House, a support group for at risk teens.
Miller received an Emmy Award in San Diego for “Getting Out the Vote.” His other honors include the Hero Award from the San Diego Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, Volunteer of the Year from the San Diego Make-A-Wish Foundation and the San Diego Christian Media Leadership Award.
One of his favorites is Stan’s Ride.
What started as a ride in San Diego to benefit a child abuse prevention foundation has followed him back to Oklahoma.
When he returned he asked Griffin Communications owners David and Kirsten Griffin if he could continue his outreach through News9.
“Little did I know that Kirsten was involved with children’s charities all over the state,” Miller said. “They both went nuts over the deal and have underwritten it for five years. We’ve raised over $400,000.
You might also catch the ordained Baptist minister preaching on Sundays through his On Call ministry which provides fill-in services for pastors who are unable to preach for whatever reason.
He says all of it goes to helping keep him young.
That’s why “I’m never taking the McDonald’s discount,” Miller said. “Never.”
Caption: Stan Miller, 60, (right) is still going strong with his News9 morning show co-hosts (left
to right) Jed Castles, Bobbie Miller and Lacey Swope.