Al Primo was a television news executive in the United States who is credited with inventing the Eyewitness News format. More than a hundred cities have used the Eyewitness News brand to identify their own highlighted local newscasts, while others have adopted Primo’s concept under various titles for their own formats.
Al Primo was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1935. He holds an American nationality. His zodiac sign is Cancer. His ethnicity is not known.
On Al Primo’s parents, there is currently no information known.
Juliet, Al Primo’s daughter, survived him. The identity of his wife remains unknown.
Primo got his start in the industry in 1953 as a mail boy at WDTV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked as a news writer, cameraman, reporter, and anchorman as the station changed owners, call letters, dial positions (from channel 3 to channel 2), and owners (from the DuMont Television Network to Westinghouse Broadcasting). Primo was appointed KDKA associate TV news director in February 1963. In 1964, Primo transferred from Cleveland, Ohio’s KDKA-TV to KYW-TV where he was appointed news director.
When Jim Axel, the previous anchor, departed while Primo was in Cleveland, Tom Snyder was hired. Primo relocated to Philadelphia in 1965 after Westinghouse traded its Cleveland station for NBC’s WRCV in Philadelphia. The Eyewitness News format was introduced by Primo in Philadelphia, but Westinghouse’s television stations had been using the moniker for a few years prior for their local newscasts. In fact, KYW itself had originally used the name in 1959 while it was situated in Cleveland, Ohio.
Roger Grimsby and Bill Beutel, a renowned anchor team at WABC-TV who had 16 years of excellent ratings before Grimsby was fired in 1986, were put together by Primo. In May 1972, Primo was appointed vice president in charge of news for ABC-owned and -operated stations.
The Reasoner Report, a half-hour news magazine that debuted on ABC in February 1973, was hosted by seasoned journalist Harry Reasoner. Primo was hired to take Ernest Leiser’s position after he departed The Reasoner Report to become executive producer of the ABC Evening News, which Reasoner also hosted. After the network canceled The Reasoner Report in May 1975, Primo departed the organization to serve as a consultant.
Al Primo’s net worth has not yet been investigated in detail.
Al Primo graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1958 after attending North Catholic Boys School and Perry High School.