Hugh Downs, whose congeniality and authoritative manner allowed him to move between the world of game shows and US network news, has died at the age of 99.
Downs hosted the game show Concentration and the ABC News show 20/20 during a radio and television career of more than 60 years.
He died peacefully at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, surrounded by family, the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University posted on social media.
Downs' Emmy-winning television work ranged from Today, NBC's morning news show, to Tonight, working with Jack Paar. In 1985 the Guinness Book of World Records said he had been on commercial television a record 15,188 hours - a mark that stood until Regis Philbin surpassed it in 2004.
Downs' broadcasting career began at age 18 when he auditioned for a radio announcer job on a whim in his hometown of Lima, Ohio. After serving in the army in World War II, he joined NBC radio in Chicago and that led to television announcing jobs.
In New York in the late 1950s, he was announcer on Sid Caesar's Caesar's Hour and announcer-sidekick to host Paar on The Tonight Show from 1957 until 1962.
In 1958, Downs became the host of Concentration, an NBC game show that tested contestants' memory and ability to solve a picture puzzle. Downs hosted for 10 years, continuing even after he became an anchor on NBC's Today morning show in 1962.
Downs spent 11 years on Today, many as co-anchor with Barbara Walters, and interviewed scores of celebrities, politicians and other newsmakers.
He joined ABC's 20/20 show in its second week in 1978 and was reunited with Walters, who became his co-anchor.
Each week he signed off by saying, "We're in touch, so you be in touch", before leaving the show and network television in 1999.
Australian Associated Press