47 years in broadcasting. That alone is a significant accomplishment. WDRB-TV’s Barry Bernson is retiring in October after a lifetime of telling stories on television.
Here’s a picture I found of him from his day at WMAQ-TV in Chicago.
Bernson’s been around long enough to have had a radio job here — at WAVE Radio in 1969. From there, he moved to WAVE-TV. In 1976, he moved to Chicago, returning in 1985 as a features reporter and morning show host at WHAS-TV. He’s been with WDRB since 2003.
The good news is this — despite his retirement effective Oct. 7, Bernson isn’t going anywhere, and will likely be seen frequently as a fill-in at the station, much as Gary Roedemeier is doing post-retirement at WHAS-TV.
For a while in 2009, I did a guest spot on Fox in the Morning, and Bernson always made me, and other guests, feel right at home. He may be as beloved as anyone in local TV, known and respected by everyone in the business, no matter the station. He’s witty and smart, as well, and I wish I could remember the unique way he introduced me one day. I didn’t know the word he used to describe me, but I’m pretty sure it was a compliment.
Here’s what he said in the station’s news release on his retirement:
“I’ve been blessed to work with the greatest co-anchor in the business all these years, and knowing Candyce and I have helped bring “WDRB in the Morning” to its current number one status is really satisfying. It’s why I came here in the first place, and certainly makes it easier to leave with a clear conscience. My time here at WDRB has been the finest eight years of my career. I can honestly say this has been the best job I’ve ever had, but now I plan to make the most of this new opportunity to finally sleep in.”
While most viewers know Bernson as the clever anchor with Candyce Clifft on WDRB, he spent much of his career finding unusual stories in odd places. His “Bernson’s Corner” segments on WDRB are just the latest version of his ability to find and profile folks just a little bit off center, like his recent piece on an artist who painted portraits of doomed dogs.
So enjoy Bernson for the next few months on TV. There’s no one like him.