CBS and ABC radio and TV broadcaster Bill Shadel died Jan. 29 in Renton, Wash of prostate cancer. He was 96.
A native of Milton, Wis., Shadel was editor of the National Rifle Assn. publication the American Rifleman in 1943 when he went overseas to cover the war in Europe. Once there, he was recruited by CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow to help cover the war for the radio network.
As one of CBS’ self-styled “Gang of Eight” that covered D-day, the Allied invasion at Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, Shadel joined colleagues such as Charles Collingwood, who landed on the beach with the Allied forces; and Richard C. Hottelet, who flew over Omaha Beach aboard a Marauder bomber. Murrow co-anchored CBS’ coverage in London with Charles Shaw.
Shadel, who was aboard a U.S. Navy vessel during the invasion, later covered the Battle of the Bulge, and he and Murrow were the first reporters inside the Buchenwald concentration camp. For his Buchenwald reporting, Shadel received a “Witness to the Truth” award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 1990.
After the war, Shadel reported for CBS Radio in Washington, D.C., before moving into the new medium of television as a reporter for the local news program anchored by Walter Cronkite on WTOP-TV.
Before moving to ABC in the late 1950s, Shadel was a periodic questioner on “Face the Nation,” at a time when the weekly news program had a moderator and three questioners.
Shadel was one of the rotating anchors for the ABC evening news in 1960 when he moderated the third presidential debate between Nixon and Kennedy.
As ABC News anchor, Shadel covered other memorable events, including spending 12 hours in the anchor chair when astronaut John Glenn made his three-orbit flight in 1962.
He left the TV news business a year later and taught journalism at the University of Washington until retiring 12 years later.
He is survived by wife Julie, two sons and two grandchildren.