Where It All Started
We are all more than our resumes. Stuart Watson’s journey began when his birth mother gave him up for adoption on the day he was born. His birth mother was a nurse focused on the treatment of addiction. His biological father, brother, and sister were all alcoholics. So was Stuart. “Alcoholism and addiction are in my DNA,” he says. He continues his recovery today.
Stuart, a veteran investigative reporter, had made his living for more than three decades by researching, thinking, interviewing, and…talking. Most people would say he was incredibly successful. He won three Peabody Awards for excellence in broadcasting, and two DuPont Columbia Silver Baton awards, one of the most prestigious honors in journalism. Stuart was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and a former board member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. Collectively, he has spent more than 30 years in television, most recently at WCNC NBC 6 in Charlotte. Although he achieved great success in his chosen career, Stuart also knows how it feels to be fired.
His last television station gave him less than an hour’s notice before security asked him to turn over his ID. “I completely identified with my title,” he says. “When someone asked a version of, ‘Who are you?’ I’d say I was the investigative reporter at NBC Charlotte, right up until I wasn’t.” At that moment, he wondered if being a reporter was all he was, or if there was more to him than these circumstances. His answers were another reason he started ManListening.
One Man Listens
Stuart was proud of his work, but his focus had been talking. Not listening. The turning point for Stuart was the conversation between him and his wife, Lorraine, while walking towards a sunny, Florida beach. She said something that would change his life: “Sweetheart, you are not an empathic listener.” She said he didn’t listen to understand other people’s feelings or empathize with them. Then the woman who knew him best gently added, “You’re particularly dismissive of women.”
Now, Stuart is committed to listening in a podcast featuring the stories of strong women on how they have bounced back from challenges and found meaning in their lives. “When I started listening, I heard things I’d never heard before,” Stuart says. On ManListening, you will, too. Where one man listens for the first time in his life. Because behind every woman is a great story just waiting to be heard.
Stuart’s most significant accomplishments and greatest joys are being a husband and father of four. He brings that and all his life experiences to his role as creator of ManListening.