WGRZ morning anchor John Beard is leaving the Buffalo NBC affiliate at the end of the year.
“Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner confirmed Monday that he has informed the station’s staff that Beard plans to leave at the end of 2016 after seven years at the station,” writes the Buffalo News. “It was not a surprise to Beard’s friends since he has been talking about leaving for more than a year and had to be talked out of it earlier.”
Beard was recently on vacation, which fed rumors he had already left.
“John has been a tremendous anchor there in every situation,” said Toellner. “He brings the gravitas for the serious heavy news and the wry sense of humor for the countless smiles ‘Daybreak’ brings us.”
From The Buffalo News:
Toellner added that Beard plans to write a couple of books, do voice work “and finish his challenging acting role (playing himself) in the final season of ‘Arrested Development.’ ”
“He also says he ‘plans to sleep all night, every night,’ ” wrote Toellner. “Mornings here sure won’t be the same without him.”
Beard, who joined WGRZ in 2009 after leaving an anchor job in Los Angeles more than a year earlier, plans to return to Los Angeles after he leaves Buffalo.
Beard, who is 68, had a second Buffalo career at WGRZ. He had been an anchor at WIVB-TV (Channel 4) in the late 1970s and early 1980s before becoming a big-time anchor at stations in Los Angeles. He also famously appeared in episodes of a few Fox programs besides “Arrested Development.”
The station already is advertising for his replacement. Pete Gallivan, who Beard replaced on “Daybreak,” is a logical candidate for the job. He has been the primary fill-in during Beard’s numerous vacations.