Monday, December 23, 2013

Farewell to Brooksie

WINS Legend Stan Brooks Dies

Stan Brooks was literally the senior correspondent for WINS, one of the all-news stations in New York.
Brooks was still reporting for the station just a month ago. He was 86. "Brooksie," as he was known to his younger colleagues (hell, everybody was younger), worked 51 years at the station, though his career in the news business spanned much longer.
You weren't somebody in the Big Apple unless you had been interviewed by Stan Brooks. He was respected not just because he was still a street reporter when many of his contemporaries were in the rocking chair or worse. He knew how to tell a story. Plain and simple.

Cancer took Stan Brooks today. The news business in the city will feel a little different. I never got to work with him, but I do know that if he was at a news conference--impeccably dressed, as I recall, WINS listeners would soon a get a concise report on what happened that was inevitably on the money.

An excellent obit on the station's website by WINS News Director Ben Mevorach has this revealing passage:

Brooksie never use the word ‘I’ as in “I want” or “I need” or “I deserve.” He only used it as an expression of human connection as in “Can I help” or “What can I do” or “I love you.”
When CBS Radio Executive Vice President Scott Herman was the General Manager of 1010 WINS, he promoted Stan to the title of Senior Correspondent. When told the new position also came with a pay raise, Stan graciously accepted the title but would not accept the raise. Mr. Herman said Stan simply said, “I don’t want to make more than any of the other reporters.”
When he talked about his illness and the inevitable outcome, Brooksie said, “Tell everyone that I have been truly blessed with a wonderful life; a life that was more than I could have ever asked for or have ever expected.”  Then in a voice filled with humility and dignity he added, “Don’t worry. I’ll be OK.”

And he will be. Rest easy, Stan.