NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In 1963, 1010 WINS was a top 40 music station, playing the hits.
But on Nov. 22, 1963, the music stopped — for more than three days.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Remembers Covering The JFK Assassination
At the time, Stan Brooks was the assistant news director, 1010 WINS’ Paul James reports. Brooks says was across the street eating a sandwich when he got the news. The bartender brought the phone over to him and told him the station was calling.
It was a WINS editor.
“He said, you gotta come back right away. They shot Kennedy.”
When Brooks first heard the news, he didn’t believe it.
“I think everybody was shocked,” he said. “The fact that an assassination happened. Never happened in my lifetime. It never happened i most of the people who were alive then, in their lifetimes.”
In a time before smartphones, text alerts and cable television, Brooks just focused on getting the facts on the air.
The reality of the event didn’t sink in personally until the end of that day.
“At midnight, I got on a train to Penn Station to go home to Long Island. I picked up a copy of the New York Times. And as I read the story, I started to cry. It hit me then, emotionally.”
He says it was hard to comprehend.