Veteran WINS Reporter Stan Brooks Dies at 86

Steve and Stan

Brooks (r) with WCBS 880 anchor Steve Scott at the New York Press Club holiday party on December 9, 2013.

Stan Brooks was an original voice of 1010 WINS. He was a reporter, for many years at City Hall, decades on all-news 1010 WINS. Brooks, who predated the station’s format change on April 19, 1965, died today likely from complications due to lung cancer. He would have been 87 next month.

News director Ben Mevorach tells Tuned In that Brooks died at his Manhattan home surrounded by family.

“While we grieve for the loss of this great man, please bear in mind that Stan was ready for this,” Mevorach says. “He left with no regrets, he left knowing he was beloved and he left with the comfort of knowing that his children and their children knew how much he loved them.”

But, one special love of Brooks’ life belonged to his late wife Lynn.

“No man ever loved a woman more than Stan loved Lynn. He saw his own death not as an end but as a time when he would be able to rejoin Lynn and simply continue on with the sixty year love affair that they had shared on earth, ” Mevorach adds.

Earlier this month, the City Hall radio room was renamed in Brooks’ honor.

As news director at WINS in the early 1960s, Brooks was summoned in secret to hire talent for the nation’s first all-news station.

“We’d go into a town, we’d go into a hotel room, turn on the radio and listen to the morning newscasters,” Brooks told FishbowlNY in April about the clandestine operation.

John Montone shared his thoughts of Brooks on Facebook.

“I have never met a finer man than my fellow 1010 WINS reporter, Stan Brooks, who passed away peacefully today at the age of 86 with his big loving family at his side.  Back in ’09 I covered the Yankee parade with Stan and Juliet Papa. After eight hours up on the riser in the cold my back was screaming and my legs were numb. Stan? He looked disappointed that our day was done. But, hey, he was just a kid of 82. Stan, the pleasure has been all mine. Give Lynn my love.”

When Brooks was still able to work for WINS, Mevorach drove him to and from City Hall each day.

“When he could no longer work we went to lunch every Friday. We talked about his incredible career in print and broadcasting, about his family, and about how he helped build the most storied brand in local radio news history. But what struck me most after each goodbye was his humility. He would shake his head in disbelief at the number of invitations to take him to lunch or dinner or the movies or to just hang out.”

WINS and News 12 Long Island reporter Eileen Lehpamer echoes the same sentiment, but on a more personalized level. While attending Fordham University and on air at WFUV, Lehpamer covered one of Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s press conferences. Nervous, she met the acclaimed Brooks.

“There are some reporters that wouldn’t give the new kid on the block the time of day,” Lehpamer recalls. “But not Stan. He was humble and kind.”

A few months later, the legendary reporter approached Lehpamer with a question about a story.

“I have never been so honored. A man with all his years of experience cared what I thought.”

Former WINS anchor Cheryl Simone posted on her Facebook page, “Think you’re good at this radio news thing? None of us will ever compare with Brooksie. You will be missed! You are a legend!”

Mevorach says, “When we would talk about his illness and where it would ultimately lead, he said to tell everyone that he was blessed with a wonderful life; a life that was more than he could have ever asked for, or have ever expected. He always ended those talks with a smile and a confident, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll be OK.'”

One thought on “Veteran WINS Reporter Stan Brooks Dies at 86

  1. W.B.

    Here are some perspectives:
    – When Brooks first joined WINS in 1962, among the air staff included Stan Z. Burns, Brad Phillips, Paul Sherman (“The Crown Prince of Rock & Roll”) and Lew Fisher – all but the last being DJ’s (Fisher did the news updates); they would all be part of 1010 WINS’ all-news operation for the rest of their days with the station – and Brooks would end up outlasting all of them.
    – Among the many on-air talent who came and went at WINS during his decades there (with a few utility part-timers in the mix) included Paul Parker, Tuck Stadler, Don Baldwin (who, as Don Davis, did some time as a WMCA “Good Guy”), Jim Gordon (who also had long stints as play-by-play announcer for the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders and football Giants), Brad Sherman, Doug Edelson, Phil Lenhart, Herb Humphries, Bob Callan, Mike McLellan, Charles Scott King, Allen Shaw, Charles Edwards, Paul Smith, Dick Levitan, Theodore Hoffman, Jim McGiffert, Irwin Brown, Bill Jay, Gil Fox, George Burgeson, Stan Bernard, Lee Murphy, Clarence Rock, Dan Scanlan, Paul Lockwood, Gary Alexander, Stan Scott, Ian MacLeod, Ed Ingles, Bob Howard (a.k.a. Adam Bob Howard; later to be known as Robert M. Howard at sister station KFWB in Los Angeles due to their being a Bob Howard already working there), Dave Henderson, Dick Kulp, Pat Hernon (once the “WEather 6” guy on WNBC-TV), Barbara Lamont, Sally Jessy Raphael (yes, THE one!), Rosemary Frisino Toohey, Kate Doordan, Leida Snow, Bob Salmaggi, Michael O’Neil, Eileen Douglas, John Russell, Brian Madden, Lou Adler (one and the same as the first half of the anchor team with Jim Donnelly on AM drive during WCBS Newsradio 88’s 1970’s heyday) Palmer Payne (another ex-News 88’er), John Meagher, Kathleen Maloney (both of whom were part of WABC’s news department during the peak of that station’s “Musicradio 77” run in the ’70’s), Bob Hagen, Steve Cangialosi, Robin Walensky, Anthony Johnson (now part of WABC-TV’s “Eyewitness News” team), Cheryl Simone (who’s been quoted in this article), James Faherty, Van Hackett, Steve Yount, Ralph Howard, Sandi Klein, Alice Stockton-Rossini, Steve Torre, Steve Holt, Doug O’Brien, Catherine Smith, Brett Larson, Jeff McKay, Maria Garcia, and three future stalwarts of WCBS Newsradio 88(0) – Paul Murnane, Wayne Cabot, and Brigitte Quinn. Brooks outlasted them all at the station (and outlived a few of them).
    – His humility may well have kept his career afloat. He survived a famous 1992 “buyout” by then-station owner Westinghouse of many WINS veterans which brought an end to the long careers of such stalwarts as Brad Sherman, Clarence Rock, Brad Phillips, Michael O’Neil, Paul Parker and Doug Edelson. And after then-WINS executive Scott Herman named him senior correspondent, Brooks foreswore a pay raise, saying he didn’t want to make any more than the other reporters – this too may have kept him in the field to near the end, given the caprices of the radio business especially in recent years. Whatever the reasons, we as radio listeners and those who worked in the business have been blessed with his presence over some five decades.

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