On November 22, 1963 WFSB went by the call letters WTIC, and we were a radio and television organization. In the newsroom at Broadcast House, a phone call alerted staff the president had been shot, as the news was printed on a the wire service teletype.
On the television side, CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite delivered the shocking details from Dallas to Channel 3 viewers, and on the radio side it was local. For the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination, on Face the State in November 1963, we were joined by two journalists who covered the assassination: Dick Ahles, the one time news director of WTIC and WFSB, and Don Noel, a former Face the State moderator and reporter for the Hartford Times and later the Hartford Courant. They shared with us what it was like to work in a newsroom on that day.
Luckily audio tape of our radio coverage still exists. Bob Ellsworth and Floyd “Hap” Richards were hosting the show ‘Mic-Line” that dealt with features and nothing controversial. They read the first bulletins and you’ll hear them again at the link below.
In the tape, listen for the reaction of a woman named Roz Fishman of West Hartford, who was overcome with shock and grief while talking about German chocolate. It gives you a sense of what people experienced that awful day.
Watch the broadcast right here: