Bill Beutel 'set the standard'

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bill Beutel was so much more than an anchor behind the desk. He was a part of the community, covering the issues that touched the lives of so many of the viewers and many of those in public life as well.

With reaction to his passing, Eyewitness News' Jeff Rossen

Bill was always so real. He taught all of us that to connect with the viewers, you had to be yourself, be real. The Bill Beutel you watched for so many years was the same Bill Beutel you'd see off-camera. As millions of you mourn with us, a tribute from the people, the politicians and the friends who knew him best.

It was a day to share stories in the newsroom where Bill Beutel crafted so many of them. Former WABC reporters Doug Johnson and John Johnson returned to share stories of their own. The stories were about their anchor.

Doug Johnson, Former WABC Reporter: You'd find him in his office. Pouring over newspapers. Pouring over magazines. Reading foreign affairs.

John Johnson, former WABC Reporter: When people want to tune into Eyewitness News to get the news it's because of the standard that Bill Beutel set. That was get it right, get it fast, with a little love and humility and a mountain of integrity.

Politicians and journalists don't always get along, but politicians could never call Bill Beutel unfair. He was a stickler for accuracy. He had the honesty and character legends are made of.

Sen. Charles Schumer, (D) New York: Not only was he a great newscaster, he had a great brain. He had a great heart. He was just a wonderful person and he will be so missed. It's such a shock to everybody.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg: When Bill Beutal died we lost a lot of New York. He was a symbol I think of this city.

Bill Beutel set the standard. He was a pioneer at Eyewitness News. Just ask the man who founded the Eyewitness News format, Al Primo.

Al Primo, Eyewitness News Founder: When you're in a management position, you always want the person who crosses the threshold to be the right person. As he walked across the threshold of my office, I said, 'This is the man.'

When he was done being the man at work, he was the loving father and the adoring husband at home.

John Johnson, Former WABC Reporter: I think that Bill, at the end of the day, found the real love of his life in Adair. My heart goes out to her.

Bill leaves behind his wife, Adaire, and four children.

(Copyright ©2014 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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