Bill Capo said good-bye to longtime news colleagues Sally-Ann Roberts and Eric Paulsen on the Eyewitness Morning News Friday.
Capo, who has covered virtually every major event in the city in the past three and a half decades - including the Kenner Pan Am crash, the papal visit, Hurricane Katrina and the Saints Super Bowl win, is stepping down from in front of the camera.
"It's been an amazing ride," he said. "It's incredibly hard, not so much for me, because I've been the middle man."
Much of Bill Capo's 36 years has been spent as the station's Action Reporter, where he was called on to tackle problems that everyday citizens had, find out if there was something that could be done and then make the calls to get it done.
He said those reports, some of which made a difference in people's lives, were some of the most rewarding.
"I got a wonderful letter from a St. Tammany firefighter the other day. He said, Mr. Capo, you won't remember, but 15 years ago my house caught fire and it was damaged. You came out and did a report and you never got a chance to come back out. I've got to tell you that every weekend after that, people would come out to help. I didn't have much money. It was a huge outpouring of help. He's now a fire chief."
Bill was a Renaissance man as well as the Action Reporter. At times when the station found itself short on meteorologists, Bill filled in as a weather anchor. He did Action Reports, but he was also the first in line for major news stories. And, an often unseen side of Bill Capo was his role as mentor. Bill befriended new reporters and schooled them on the ins and outs of covering New Orleans. He tutored young desk assistants and interns looking to make their way in the world of broadcast journalism and several of those he helped are working journalists around the country.
Many of Bill's colleagues and several people whom he has covered have taken to emails, and social media to share their best wishes.
Capo told Eric and Sally that among other things, he would be learning to be a tour guide at the Cabildo in the French Quarter.