Mr. Chayefsky “was very charming, and he was very funny about some of the people he saw,” Mr. Wald told Dave Itzkoff for his book “Mad as Hell: The Making of ‘Network’ and the Fateful Vision of the The Angst Man in Movies” (2014) “Which made me believe he wouldn’t treat them kindly.”
Mr. Wald resigned from NBC News in 1977 after disputes with the network’s senior management over such matters as the signing of exclusive and expensive contracts with former President Gerald R. Ford; his wife, Betty; and Henry A. Kissinger, the former Secretary of State, to appear on special NBC News broadcasts.
Although he approved the signing at the time, he later came to feel that the fees paid had resulted in cuts in his budget for special news and documentaries, The New York Times reported at the time.
After leaving NBC, Mr. Wald with PBS about the future of public television newsgathering and was a special assistant to Otis Chandler, publisher of The Los Angeles Times, for three months.
When Mr. Arledge recruited him to join ABC News in 1978, Mr. Wald had to adapt to the culture there, especially in the Washington bureau, which was reluctant to greet him.
“If you think we need a guy from NBC to help us out, you’re wrong,” said Frank Reynolds, one of the three anchors on ABC’s “World News Tonight,” according to Mr. Arledge.
Mr. Wald adapted and stayed for 21 years.
In addition to his sons Matthew, a former reporter for The New York Times, and Jonathan, a former executive producer of “Today” and “NBC Nightly News,” Mr. Wald, who lived in Larchmont, NY, leaves behind a daughter. , Elizabeth Wald; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson. His wife, Edith (Leslie) Wald, died in 2021.