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Bill Beutel passes away

I lived in NYC from 1976-1989, and we tuned in to the 6PM news every night – and that meant watching Bill Beutel and Roger Grimsby on WABC’s Eyewitness News. (Newsday):

Bill Beutel, the longtime face of Channel 7’s “Eyewitness News” who was the personification of distinguished anchorman for generations of New Yorkers, has died, ABC announced Sunday. He was 75.

Beutel, who retired from Channel 7 in 2003, died Saturday at his home in Pinehurst, N.C., the network said. The cause was not immediately disclosed.

Grimsby (l) and Beutel.

…His iconic pairing with Grimsby on the program, with its reporters reflecting the city’s diversity and its dramatic Lalo Shifrin-penned music theme, was an immediate hit with viewers. Grimsby and Beutel anchored during some of New York’s darkest, crime-filled days. Their banter was possibly the groundbreaking version of TV news “happy talk.”

“Grimsby and I never set out to be funny. I was kind of the censor,” Beutel said in a 2003 interview. In 1975, he briefly hosted “AM America,” ABC’s national morning news show, which morphed into “Good Morning America”.

Beutel retired as a Channel 7 anchor in January 2001 but continued reporting, covering the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as well as heading overseas again.

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Pam Spaulding

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