Bill Ritter joined 20/20as a correspondent in November 1997.
His reports have included stories on internet stalking and the potential dangers in cyberspace; an investigation into the little-known dangers of GHB, a so-called date rape drug; the effects of parental anger on children; an in-depth look at obsessive compulsive disorders that range from irrational fears of running over pedestrians to sexually based intrusive thoughts; a revealing interview with Steven Van Zandt—“Little Steven” of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band — who went from rocker and political activist to TV mobster; the dramatic stories of people who wake up during surgery; an investigation into the death of former TV Superman George Reeves; and a look at the newly created wealthy class in America.
Ritter joined ABCNEWS in January 1993. He has been host of Good Morning America/Sunday and a correspondent on Good Morning America. In June 1998, he was named weekend anchor of WABC-TV in New York. In September 1999, he was named 11:00 p.m. anchor of ABC’s flagship owned and operated station.
Ritter has covered dozens of important news stories for a variety of ABCNEWS programs, including the mob attacks and alleged sexual assault of young women in Manhattan’s Central Park following the Puerto Rican Day Parade, shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, the death of Princess Diana, the crash of TWA Flight 800, the criminal and civil trials of O.J. Simpson and the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing.
His feature reporting for Good Morning America includes revealing interviews with boxers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, golfers Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, former evangelist Jim Bakker and Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz. He reported a five-part series on corporate downsizing and took a look at “Sex Over 50.”
Prior to joining ABC, Ritter was a reporter for KCAL-TV, the former Disney-owned independent station in Los Angeles, from June to December 1992, where his “Up Front” segment headlined the station’s successful 9:00 p.m. weeknight news broadcast, showcasing his perspective of the day’s top national or international story.
Previously, the Los Angeles native reported on the Rodney King trial and the subsequent Los Angeles riots for the Fox Television Network. From August 1991 through February 1992, Ritter also served as a reporter for the Fox Network’s nationally syndicated show, Entertainment Daily Journal (E.D.J.); and from February 1990 to August 1991, was an investigative reporter for KTTV-TV (Fox Television) in Los Angeles. He also was an anchor for the station’s Gulf War coverage.
While serving as a business, then investigative reporter for KNSD-TV (NBC affiliate) in San Diego from February 1987 to January 1990, Ritter, known for his white-collar crime investigations, captured four Emmy Awards. In 1989 he was honored for his investigative reporting in uncovering a local stock swindle, as well as for his “overall journalistic enterprise.” In 1987, he also won in both of these categories, this time for his reports exposing a safety scandal involving killer whales and their trainers at San Diego’s Sea World of California. Ritter also was named NBC Affiliate Reporter of the Year in 1987 and 1988.
Ritter began his career in print journalism in 1972. He served as a reporter, then business editor, of the San Diego County edition of The Los Angeles Times from February 1984 to January 1987. In 1984, he won The Los Angeles Times Editorial Award for uncovering a $200 million broker fraud in San Diego. He also worked as a reporter and editor for the San Diego Business Journal from June 1980 to January 1984.
Additionally, Ritter served as chairman of Crash, Inc., a non-profit drug education and prevention organization in San Diego, from 1980 to 1990. He also was on the San Diego State University Business School advisory board in 1984 and 1985.
Ritter attended San Diego State University, majoring in accounting and economics.
He and his wife, Janny Scott, a reporter for The New York Times, and their two children reside in Manhattan.