Bill Beutel, 75, longtime WABC-TV New York news anchor and the first host, in 1975, of A.M. America, the forerunner to Good Morning America, has died in Pinehurst, N.C.
Beutel joined the station in 1962. In 1968, he became London bureau chief for ABC News, returning to the station in 1970 to co-anchor a then-new format called Eyewitness News.
He retired from the station in 2003.
WABC General Manager Dave Davis said of Beutel: "He stood for fairness, accuracy, kindness, strength and decency. He was never shrill, always measured, and universally respected--the original class act."
The station will hold a memorial service, but no word yet on details.