John Lennon's tragic death on Dec. 8, 1980, was the definitive stop-the-presses moment in rock history, overshadowing Elvis Presley's not-all-that-surprising demise three years earlier and, going back further, the plane crash that snuffed out the promising careers of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

Thirty years ago, there was no Twitter or MSNBC or Fox News (or Fox for that matter), so news coverage of that cold night in New York City came in the form of breaking news alerts from older, veteran newsmen, who delivered the sad news with their trademark gravitas. Ted Koppel for ABC, a crusty BBC anchor and even Bill Kurtis (of 'Cold Case Files') broke the news to viewers of Chicago's CBS affiliate. The most widely seen and enduring announcement of the tragedy came from Howard Cosell in the 'Monday Night Football' broadcast booth. Watch that and other vintage news alerts.