Spring Equinox and then some

The Empire State Building was yellow the night of 3/20/06, in honor of the first day of Spring. Funny how the temperature sure didn’t feel like spring.

A law-related article (and perhaps in time for Women’s History Month?): the NY Times looks into why so few women are high up in the big law firms. I thought the most interesting line in the article was the view that there’s more than discrimination going on, but perhaps a problem of biases – cultural change is something harder to combat, and so are the issues of retention in the legal profession.

The passing of a NYC institution: Eyewitness News’ Bill Beutel. The NY Times had a fascinating obituary, noting among other things:

After graduating from Dartmouth, Mr. Beutel went to the University of Michigan Law School but left after a year to pursue journalism. He got a radio job in Cleveland and then came to CBS radio in New York.

In 1962, he joined ABC as a reporter for the national news broadcast and as an anchor on the local New York news program “The Big News.” Up to then his name had been pronounced “BOY-tel,” but at the beginning of his first live broadcast on WABC-TV, the narrator pronounced it, “Byoo-TEL.” The new pronunciation stuck.

Channel 7 also had nice tributes (well, Bill Beutel was their leader). I just think it’s just sad that Beutel, who was an ABC London bureau chief around the time of Peter Jennings’ own rise on ABC, is now also gone. ABC losing its national lead, as well as its local lead (ok, Beutel retired or scaled back some time ago, but still, for a long time, he was a fixture at 6pm, to lead to Peter Jennings).

Even more sad – it’s only with the passing of a Channel 7 veteran that brings out the other former Channel 7 guys back on the air – Doug Johnson and John Johnson to speak about their colleague. Channel 4, although the rival network, had a nice tribute too. Kind of weird to realize, but Channel 4’s Chuck Scarborough really has picked up the baton here – the longtime guy who still carries this voice of authority (unlike, say, Ernie Anastos and his I-get-to-work-on-every-channel thing). Also weird – seeing longtime Channel 7 reporters go to different channels gives you this feeling of them bringing their Channel 7-ness with them wherever they go: Channel 4 had David Ushery talk about Bill Beutel; Channel 2 had Roz Abrams talk about having been a few offices away from Beutel for years.

You could feel Channel 7’s loss; you could get the sense of respect from Channel 4 (when even Chuck had nice things to say) – but it feels weird to not get a more substantial take from CBS? Well, they haven’t had a lead anchor of the Chuck Scarborough or Bill Beutel stature in awhile – not that kind of longevity or ability. Channel 5 had John Roland, but even he moved on. A passing of an era, indeed.

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