Former local newsman recalls day of JFK assassination

Nov 22, 2013

A former local radio news man reflected on the dramatic moments that unfolded 50 years ago, November 22 1963  with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Ron Arnold was news director the former WEBR-AM-970 radio.  Arnold tells WBFO News he was on the air when word came in that the President had been shot. He recalls the wire service alarms ringing. 

Credit Image from Buffalo Broadcasters Association

WEBR's Ron Arnold delivered the important news flash on November 22, 1963 to a Buffalo radio audience. 

(Audio of Arnold's actual broadcast courtesy of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association.)

"I could see it was from Dallas and the other one was quit clear in the sense that it said 'President Kennedy's motorcade has been fired upon in Dealey Plaza', and that was the beginning of approximately six consecutive hours of broadcasting," said Arnold.

Arnold said he was shocked by the news, but quickly moved into action to report details of the horrific event.  

"You had that great sense of responsibility, because here's a terrible piece of history unfolding before you, and you have to get it out to the mass audience," said Arnold. 

Ironically, later in Arnold's radio career, he interview President Lyndon B.  Johnson, who was sworn in the day Kennedy was murdered.  Arnold snagged a one-on-one interview with President Johnson in Buffalo's Niagara Square.

"It was probably the summer of '64 I guess," said Arnold.

Arnold's radio career included work at WBEN-AM and WKBW-AM.  He was an award-winning reporter and documentary producer here at WNED-TV and is  a Buffalo Broadcast Hall of Famer.