Nobody in the history of South Florida television has anchored more sportscasts than CBS 4’s Jim Berry. But he won’t be anchoring another.
Berry, who has been juggling sports and news anchor duties in recent years, confirmed this week that he is transitioning to a full-time news role, without a sports component.
Mike Cugno, CBS’ No. 2 sportscaster in recent years, takes over lead sports anchor duties, a job which includes hosting Dolphins postgame shows.
Besides continuing to co-anchor CBS 4’s 5:30 p.m. newscast, Berry will co-anchor a new 9 p.m. newscast on sister station WBFS 33 beginning Tuesday. He also will anchor a new show on CBS 4’s streaming platform at 7:30 p.m. weeknights; the launch date is undetermined. That program will feature in-depth reporting, storytelling and interviews.
Berry anchored sports in the market for 33 years — six at WSVN 7 and then 27 years at CBS 4.
“I feel like the Lou Gehrig of sportscasters,” Berry said. “So lucky to have covered so many huge moments in South Florida sports. Now, I’m excited about applying the same creative energy in a broader arena.”
Steve Shapiro — who retired in 2020 — anchored sports in South Florida for 30 years and 6 months, second most in South Florida TV history. Tony Segreto ranks third on that longevity list; his career mirrored Berry’s in that he anchored sports initially, then news and sports, and then only news on NBC 6 before retiring in 2008.
Though Berry has a more reserved delivery than Shapiro, they shared an ability to make the audience smile by injecting their personalities and humor, including Berry’s signature “Jim’s Jingles” that were a staple of much of his career.
Berry’s departure marks at least the eighth sportscasting personnel change on the local affiliates this decade. Here’s the current sportscaster lineup for each of the four Miami-Fort Lauderdale stations that carry network programming (the local CBS and NBC stations are owned and operated by the networks and thus aren’t called affiliates):
CBS 4: Mike Cugno, Samantha Rivera, Trish Christakis (who does news and sports)
NBC 6: Sara Cardona, Giselle Espinales
Fox 7: Josh Moser, Mike Dipasquale, Donovan Campbell
WPLG 10: Will Manso, Clay Ferraro
Earlier this year, Cardona replaced Ruthie Polinsky, who relocated to Chicago. Espinales recently rejoined NBC 6’s staff as a full-time No. 2.
One other local talent note: Hailey Sutton, who worked on air at NBC 6 (with Polinsky) for several months before leaving to take a job with the Dallas Cowboys last year, is returning to South Florida as a host and reporter for CBS Sports HQ.
The South Florida sports TV market continues to be a trailblazer for female journalists. Four of the 10 full-time sports anchor/reporter jobs on the four stations are held by women. Jane Chastain was the first woman, in U.S. history, to appear regularly on-air for a local television station when WTVJ (then Channel 4, now Channel 6) hired her in 1969.
THIS AND THAT
In the wake of their Stanley Cup Finals run, the Panthers were given a combined seven games on ABC/ESPN and TNT — their most in franchise history.
Among the national TV games: a Saturday, March 23 prime-time game at the Rangers on ABC, which will air opposite NCAA Tournament games on CBS.
Bally Sports Florida will carry 70 Panthers games.
▪ TNT picked up the Heat-Spurs preseason game on Oct. 13. Bally Sports Sun will carry the Heat’s other four preseason games.
▪ Channing Crowder, Marc Hochman’s afternoon drive-time co-host on WQAM-560, got a big gig, as a panelist on “Inside the NFL,” the longtime studio show that now airs on The CW Network at 8 p.m. Tuesdays.
ESPN’s Ryan Clark will host, alongside Crowder, former Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler, ex-Pro Bowl receiver Chad Johnson and former NFL defensive end Chris Long.
▪ A few college football media notes heading into the weekend: Acquiring prime time Big Ten rights is such a big deal for NBC that the network has its lead voice, Mike Tirico, calling its first Big 10 game (which will air only on streaming service Peacock): Michigan-East Carolina at noon. This likely will be Tirico’s only college football game this season; he’s paired with Chris Simms.
Noah Eagle (Ian’s son) and former ABC analyst Todd Blackledge will call NBC’s Big 10 games, beginning with West Virginia-Penn State at 7:30 Saturday night...
Meanwhile, CBS will carry eight Big 10 games in different time slots this season, which is the network’s final season with SEC games. Once SEC rights move exclusively to ABC/ESPN in 2024, CBS will carry a Big 10 game every Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
CBS’ first Big 10 game: Ohio State-Indiana at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson call that game, and will transition permanently from SEC to Big 10 games on CBS in 2024…
Greg McElroy, the former Alabama quarterback, replaces Blackledge alongside Sean McDonough on ABC/ESPN’s No. 2 team. Lead team Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit call FSU-LSU on Sunday night on ABC…
Former Marlins announcer Rich Waltz gets a rare CBS prime-time assignment — Texas Tech-Wyoming on Saturday night…
ACC Network assigned Jay Alter (who calls lacrosse and other college events for ESPN) and Rene Ingoglia to UM’s opener against Miami of Ohio at 7 p.m. Friday.
▪ Something to keep an eye on: The Bally Sports regional cable networks’ carriage deals with Comcast and DirecTV end in September and November, respectively, according to Forbes. That includes Bally Sports Florida and Bally Sports Sun, which carry Heat, Marlins and Panthers games. More than 50 percent of South Florida homes with cable or satellite service have Comcast and DirecTV.
Diamond Sports, which is the parent company of the Bally regionals, filed for bankruptcy in March.