Longtime WABC New York news anchor Bill Beutel died March 18 at his home in Pinehurst, N.C. He was 75.
His signoff “Good luck and be well” closed the station's nightly local newscast for more than 30 years.
Beutel began his career as a radio reporter in his hometown of Cleveland. He moved to television in 1962, serving as a reporter for ABC national news and as an anchor for WABC's fledgling The Big News.
In 1968, he became London bureau chief for ABC News. Returning to the local anchor desk in New York in 1970, he teamed with Roger Grimsby in the new Eyewitness News format, a chatty, more casual presentation quickly dubbed “happy talk” news. The format caught on and was copied, and derided by critics, nationwide.
In 1975, Beutel became co-host of ABC's AM America, the national morning news show that later that year became Good Morning America.
He returned to WABC, remaining on the anchor desk until 2001. After stepping down, he continued to report for the network for two years.
Beutel won several Emmys and a Peabody Award.
He is survived by his wife and four children.
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