The newsman who covered President Kennedy’s assassination and the civil rights movement for CBS and was an anchor on NBC’s Today in the mid-’70s has died of kidney failure In a Riverside hospice. Lew Wood was 84. He began his career in the early 1950s on the radio in Indiana. On Nov. 22, 1963, he was in Texas covering JFK’s visit. After reporting on the president’s breakfast speech in Fort Worth, he spoke by phone with his CBS colleague Dan Rather, who was covering Kennedy’s motorcade in Dallas. In Wood’s entry on, he recalled Rather telling him, “Hold on, Lew — don’t go away,” then quickly coming back on the line to say the president had been shot and that he should go to the hospital. Wood went on to anchor the news at WNBC New York before replacing Frank Blair on Today in 1975. He left the show a year later. Wood then went into PR, retiring in 2006.