Beutel, William Charles 1930-2006

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Beutel, William Charles 1930-2006
(Bill Beutel)


See index for CA sketch: Born December 12, 1930, in Cleveland, OH; died of complications from a neurological disorder, March 18, 2006, in Pinehurst, NC. Journalist, broadcaster, and author. Beutel was a longtime news anchor and reporter for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), who was best remembered for his work on the news showEyewitness News with coanchor Roger Grimsby. Earning a bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College in 1953, he went to law school at the University of Michigan but left after a year to start a career in journalism. Initially finding work as a newsman for Cleveland radio and television stations, he was with the Columbia Broadcasting System from 1960 to 1962 before joining ABC. Beutel started as a reporter for the New York City office and was promoted to bureau chief in London, England, in 1968. In 1970, he was asked to audition for the coanchor chair next to Grimsby. Producers for New York's WABC-TV show Eyewitness News were having a hard time finding an anchor who could stand his ground opposite the sometimes acid-tongued and intimidating Grimsby. In Beutel they found a newsman who was not put off by Grimsby and, indeed, served as an ameliorating complement who considerably lightened the tone of the program. During the 1970s and early 1980s, Beutel and Grimsby proved popular with audiences, with Beutel initiating an upbeat banter that would greatly influence other similar news shows in years to come. After Grimsby left the program in 1986, Beutel continued on with Eyewitness News until 2001. He also briefly hosted AM America, the precursor of Good Morning, America, in 1975. After leaving his main show in 2001, Beutel continued to work as a foreign correspondent for ABC until retiring in 2003. His career accomplishments included winning four Emmy Awards and a prestigious Peabody Award, the latter earned in 1970 for a news feature called "Eye of the Storm."



Chicago Tribune, March 20, 2006, section 2, p. 12.

Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2006, p. B11.

New York Times, March 20, 2006, p. A21.