Jim Berry — South Florida’s sports broadcaster, always a winner

Miami certainly loves all kinds of athletics, with its sports-minded clientele the community looks to the best to deliver a top-notch report. Jim Berry of CBS4 News can always be counted on to meet this demanding challenge, keeping the community abreast of the latest sports news.

A native of Chicago and a Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism graduate, Berry has been part of the CBS4 News team since 1996, enlightening sports fans of all ages. Perhaps one reason Mr. Berry is such a superb journalist is that he truly loves his vocation. Berry says he always knew that sports journalism was the career choice for him.

“Growing up in Chicago as a kid I would come home from school and watch the Chicago Cubs baseball games,” he said. “There was an announcer at the time for the Cubs named Jack Brickhouse. He always seemed to love what he did and always seemed to have a ball, so I kind of fixated on him, which is when I realized that this is what I wanted to do.”

When asked about his own sports story, Berry said he started a little late but the first sport he ever played was baseball and then he ended up falling in love with basketball.

“In Chicago, as a kid I admired Gale Sayers and Walter Payton,” he said. “They were the two athletes I admired the most.”

Determined to follow his passion, Berry attended Northwestern University, one of the top journalism schools in the country.

“When I started doing my homework, I asked where the best journalism school was and someone told me that it was right up the street,” he said. “It was the only school I applied for admission to and I got in. It turned out to be one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

After his college career ended, Berry’s career was launched in Charlotte, NC where he worked at WBTV. He continued his broadcasting profession at WJLA-TV in Washington, DC, which eventually led him to a station in Miami. At CBS4 in Miami, he takes on several important roles including being the weeknight sports anchor, host of the station’s Sports Rap program and as primary anchor for reporting on the Miami Dolphins.

Berry says it is difficult to name the most important story he has ever covered in South Florida because there have been just too many. However, one story stands out and he recalls covering former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning’s charity event for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“When he came down with kidney disease and had to take a break for a while, he still had a charity that would deliver turkeys for families in need in Overtown, so I went down there with him to help,” said Berry. “I was so impressed and admired Mourning for what he did even when he was down. It showed that he really did care about the community. That story meant a lot to me.”

Berry’s expertise in sports journalism has not been overlooked. He has won five Emmys and honored three times in the Miami New Times annual poll to determine the Best of Miami. He also received the Silver Circle of Excellence Award from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences for exceptional achievements in television journalism. Berry has had a remarkable career and is a civic leader. He is involved in several charities, including the Greater Miami Tennis Foundation and the ACES program.

“I love the sense of community and family and I always felt at home in Palmetto Bay,” he said. “It is such a diverse community and I enjoy just hanging out with the neighbors.”

Emily Ghezzi is a Palmetto Bay resident and a 2012 graduate from Palmetto High School. She currently attends Auburn University where she is a studying journalism and theater.

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