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Legendary Philadelphia Anchor Larry Kane Recalls Brief Stint Anchoring WABC/Eyewitness News, Run-Ins with Roger Grimsby

Larry Kane is a prominent TV news figure in Philadelphia. But for a year in the 1970s, the Brooklyn-born Kane was back home.

Already established in the City of Brotherly Love, from 1977 to 1978, Kane was the 11 p.m. anchor at WABC/Channel 7. This was the “golden age” of Eyewitness News.

From the outset, Kane encountered resistance from Roger Grimsby.

“He was resentful of the fact that I was there,” Kane says. “And he made comments on the air about it.”

Grimsby and veteran on-air partner Bill Beutel were taken off the 11 p.m. in favor of Kane. 

Kane, though, says there was no such treatment from the urbane Bill Beutel.

Kane ultimately returned to Philly just a year later. Keeping a home in Philadelphia, Kane commuted to New York each day, never fully embracing his hometown.

Grismby, meanwhile, didn’t recapture the 11 p.m.

“I don’t think he was ever happy,” Kane admits. “I wasn’t living every day thinking about Roger.”

Ernie Anastos was hired to take over the late evening news at WABC.

“I was replaced by a guy who was an appropriate replacement,” Kane says.

Kane and Anastos have remained close over the years.

Kane, an award-winning anchorman, is also an accomplished writer and his latest book, his first novel, is entitled Death by Deadline. The e-book will be available in paperback form in the coming weeks.

There are murder, intrigue and the inner workings of a TV newsroom deftly woven together. 

Although totally fabricated, he says there are elements within the TV newsroom that were easy to construct.

He says the story is based on a “composite of experiences.”

There was one experience that likely wasn’t included.

Kane is the answer to a trivia question—who was the only American journalist permitted to travel with The Beatles for their 1964 and 1965 North American tours?

Kane was a 21-year-old news director for a TV station in Miami. His boss suggested writing the Fab Four and getting an interview in Jacksonville—the closest venue on the tour.

The Beatles took a shine to the young broadcaster, and invited Kane to have exclusive access throughout their concert run.  

“I didn’t want to go,” Kane recalls. “I thought it was an absolute waste of time.”

As time went by, Kane certainly embraced his incredible journey with The Beatles, even authoring two books in the last decade.

“In the end, I was so thrilled to be there that I couldn’t wait for the next tour, which I joined in 1965, along with a trip to the Bahamas in February 1965 to cover them when they filmed the movie Help.”

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