The NBC, ABC and CNN News icon died of prostate cancer 2/20 at his home in New York. He passed “with the same grace and dignity he showed throughout his life and career,” said Utley’s sister-in-law, Chicago journalist Carol Marin.
Utley, the son of a pioneering Chicago television news couple, began as a copy boy for the Chicago Sun-Times and rose to prominence as a globe-trotting correspondent for three networks, moderator of “Meet the Press” and weekend anchor of “NBC Nightly News” and “Sunday Today,” noted Chicago media expert Robert Feder.
Utley served as weekend anchor during much of the 1970s, and frequently substituted for John Chancellor during that decade and for Tom Brokaw in the 1980s on NBC Nightly News. Utley also served as weekend anchor on Sundays, from 1987–1990 and on Saturdays from 1990-1993 of NBC Nightly News. One noteworthy Nightly News broadcast Utley appeared on aired on 1/22/73, the day the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision. In the midst of that broadcast and just before reporting on the decision, news broke that former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson had died.
In the 1970s, Utley frequently hosted newsmagazine-style programs for NBC News. From January 1989 to December 1991, he moderated NBC’s Meet the Press, while simultaneously hosting the newly-debuted Sunday version of the Today Show.
More from Feder’s post: “Utley joined NBC News in 1963 as an assistant to John Chancellor in the network’s Brussels bureau. The following year, he was assigned to the Saigon bureau, where he was among the first television correspondents to cover the Vietnam War. He went on to report from more than 70 countries, winning numerous honors including an Edward R. Murrow Award and George Foster Peabody Award.
After three decades at NBC News, Utley joined ABC News as London-based chief foreign correspondent. He later moved to CNN, where he co-anchored coverage of the 9/11 attacks and served as a special correspondent and contributor.
His work for public broadcasting included hosting “America Abroad,” a documentary series for Public Radio International, and “Live From the Met” opera broadcasts for PBS.
Utley most recently was a professor of broadcasting and journalism at State University of New York – Oswego and a senior fellow at the university’s Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce, where he served as founding president from 2002 to 2011. He wrote You Should Have Been Here Yesterday, a book chronicling the growth of television news.”