When routine coverage of JFK's Dallas visit suddenly evolved into reporting a worldwide tragedy, KRLD reporters assumed the duty of reassuring a shocked nation and an anxious world. Broadcast journalism came of age in that crisis, and KRLD News earned the profession's highest honor for its on-the-scene reporting. The writers worked in support of Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite as they reported the first on-camera murder and initiated the first continuous live coverage. Reporters who were part of this watershed in broadcast journalism have had four decades to consider events that were too fast and stunning to allow emotional detachment or reflection. They have never written their account of what happened on the scene in Dallas in 1963 until this book, and no other group had quite the behind-the-scene perspectives these four shared.
Bob Huffaker, investigative reporter, broadcast the JFK motorcade, the Parkland Hospital vigil, and the Oswald shooting on CBS. He was an army officer, police officer, English professor, and editor for Texas Monthly and Studies in the Novel; he wrote John Fowles: Naturalist of Lyme Regis and is honored in the Texas State University Star Hall of Fame and the Dallas Press Club Living Legends of North Texas Journalism.
Bill Mercer, voice of the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and the Southwest Conference, was a professor at The University of North Texas. He wrote Play-by-Play: Tales from a Sportscasting Insider and a history of the Navy LCI, aboard which he served in the WW II Pacific. Mercer is honored in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, the Dallas Press Club Living Legends of North Texas Journalism, and baseball’s All-Pro Hall of Fame.
George Phenix, filmed Oswald’s murder, the Parkland and Love Field scenes, and the Ruby murder trial. He founded and published Texas Weekly, the state’s top legislative newsletter. Phenix also published several weekly newspapers and served as aide to Senator Lloyd Bentsen and Congressman Jake Pickle. He writes the popular Blog of Ages at www.blogofages.net.
Wes Wise, accosted by Jack Ruby the day after JFK’s assassination, before Ruby shot Oswald, was a witness in Ruby’s trial. A pioneer of play-by-play, Wise wrote for Sports Illustrated, Time, and Life. He served as Dallas mayor and president of the Texas Municipal League and is honored in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and the Dallas Press Club Living Legends of North Texas Journalism. As Dallas mayor, he saved the Texas School Book Depository and other historical buildings from demolition, and he led the city in reclaiming its national reputation.