John Beard began his broadcasting career in radio in his hometown of
Pauls N.C. and continued on air work through the first two years
After serving four years as a Navy Corpsman with the US Marines, John
returned to college and switched from radio to television, reporting and
anchoring at WITN-TV in Washington, N.C. while going to school full
At WITN, John began as weekend anchor and full-time reporter. He shot
and edited his own video, wrote and produced the weekend newscast for
two months before being promoted as anchor of the top-rated 11 o'clock
newscast (which he also wrote and produced). In addition, John won
several state AP awards for breaking news coverage.
Upon graduating from East Carolina University, John anchored and
reported at WXII-TV in Winston Salem, NC for one year; beginning as
weekend anchor and quickly being promoted to 11 o'clock anchor (again,
writing and producing the show).
In 1977, John was hired as 11 o'clock anchor and reporter at WIVB-TV in
Buffalo, NY, one year later he was promoted to 6 and 11 o'clock anchor.
During that time, he was offered anchor jobs at KGO in San Francisco and
WLS in Chicago but under a contract clause. WIVB matched the offer and
kept Beard until his contract expired in 1981.
John moved to Los Angeles in 1981 to anchor and report at KNBC where he
anchored winning newscasts at 4, 5, 6 and 11. Beard is especially proud
of the 4 PM show, which was a start-up newscast with few resources but
became number one in six months. At KNBC Beard anchored and reported in
the field on the El Nino storms, the Baldwin Hills fire and the LA
After a terrorist bombing destroyed the US Marine barracks in Beirut,
Beard traveled to Lebanon to cover the Marines there from Southern
California; after finishing the story on the Marines... John was trapped
in Beirut when the airport and harbor were closed. During that time he
was able to facilitate the release of a Lebanese orphan that had been
adopted by an LA couple who couldn't get him out of the war-torn
country. In a surprise move, Beard brought the infant home with him and
presented the little boy on Dec 20th to his new family with the message:
"Merry Christmas from Beirut".
Burbank turned out to be more dangerous than Beirut one afternoon when a
gunman took over the KNBC studios during a live 4 PM Newscast.
John also anchored National newsbreaks in NBC and filled in for Bryant
Gumbel on the Today show.
In 1993, Beard was hired by a floundering KTTV to bring credibility and
stability to their 10 PM newscast...ratings at KTTV climbed immediately
and the station became the dominant 10PM newscast. John also won
numerous Emmys at KTTV for reporting, including a half-hour special on
Americans missing in Nuevo Laredo Mexico, live Hurricane coverage on the
Gulf coast, gavel-to-gavel anchoring of the OJ Simpson criminal trial,
the LA Bank of America shootout, dozens of brushfires and the Northridge
Beard has been the viewers' choice as favorite news anchor in nearly
every newspaper poll taken in LA in the last 25 years and enjoys a
reputation as one of LA's most trusted newsmen.
John is single and lives in Santa Monica: