Backstory12/03/2000 07:00:00 PM Eastern
described the coverage of John Lennon's Dec. 8, 1980, murder outside the Dakota apartment house in New York as a "rare blend of news and entertainment" in the Dec. 15 issue. Beatles music dominated on radio, and TV and radio news divisions offered retrospectives of his life.
Part of NBC's coverage included the rebroadcast of a 1975 Lennon interview with Tom Snyder on the
show, while CBS devoted half of the
Evening News With Walter Cronkite
to the story and broadcast a documentary. NBC also aired a news special.
Although the television coverage was substantial, the tragedy was a radio story; many rock stations played nothing but Beatles tunes for several days. RKO fed its affiliates a 71/2-minute piece from Lennon's last interview and made parts of it available to all news media. ABC Radio gave its affiliates 36 short feature segments to air before album cuts. NBC Radio affiliates had two- to three-minute segments on Lennon, as well as hourly reports as the story developed. And The Mutual Network's
Larry King Show
was flooded with calls from mourners.