Title: Television News Senior Correspondent
Location: Buffalo, New York, United States
Rich Newberg, Television News Senior Correspondent at WIVB-TV, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in communications.
Mr. Newberg is the former senior correspondent for WIVB-TV in Buffalo, New York. Joining the CBS affiliate in 1978 as a weekend anchorman, he later became a main anchor for the 5pm and 11pm newscasts and was named senior correspondent in 1999. He retired from the station in 2015. Now entering his fifty-fourth year in broadcast journalism, he continues to produce documentaries dealing with Buffalo’s rich and colorful history.
Mr. Newberg’s 2021 documentary, “The Buffalo Story: History Happens Here,” received two New York Emmy Awards in the categories of Environment/Science and Community Service. The locally aired primetime special featured Buffalo’s leading role in the civil rights and environmental justice movements, while emphasizing the role local broadcast journalists play in providing a first draft of history to their communities.
Mr. Newberg began his television career in 1971, co-creating and anchoring the first nightly cable newscast for Ithaca, New York. He had previously anchored a student-produced weekly cable newscast at Ithaca College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications in 1969. He received his Master of Arts degree in News and Public Affairs from Michigan State University in 1971.
In 1973, WIXT-TV in Syracuse gave him the title of Action Reporter. He helped viewers cut through government and corporate red tape to get results. He then served as the first news Troubleshooter for WHAM-TV in Rochester (1974-’75) and WMAQ in Chicago (1975-’78). He won his first Emmy award in Chicago as part of a reporting team covering a demonstration by disenfranchised citizens of Puerto Rican descent. The protest turned violent, with some claiming that the police had used excessive force.
The hallmark of Mr. Newberg’s reporting career is giving a voice to those who face difficult challenges but lack access to the mainstream media. His special assignment reporting for WIVB addressed social issues including inner-city strife, struggles of the mentally ill, and the plight of the homeless. His Black history Underground Railroad and civil rights documentaries for the station won several New York Emmys.
He considers his coverage of Holocaust survivors his most important work. In 1994 he joined a group of men returning to the concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. Their survival as teenagers remains a mystery. “Lost Childhood: The Story of the Birkenau Boys” won WIVB’s first two New York Emmys for Historical Programming and Documentary Photography.
Mr. Newberg met Pope John Paul II on two occasions and covered his funeral live from Vatican City. During a 1985 private audience that included a delegation from Buffalo, the pope acknowledged Mr. Newberg’s journey to Poland where he had just covered Solidarity’s struggle for freedom from communism.
Mr. Newberg was among the first American local television reporters to tour parts of Mainland China when it began opening up to the West. In 1983 he accompanied a Buffalo cancer researcher invited by China and Japan to share his breakthrough therapy with doctors adopting his methods.
In 1990 Mr. Newberg flew with Air Force reservists from Niagara Falls to their desert base in the Persian Gulf, documenting the buildup to the First Gulf War. In 1993 he traveled to Cuba with Buffalo physicians invited to share medical techniques with their counterparts in Havana.
Following the 9/11 attacks on the United States, his documentary “On the Homefront” received a New York Emmy for Outstanding News Special. It explored Western New York state of preparedness to respond to a terrorirst attack.
On December 6, 2019, Mr. Newberg was among a select group of broadcast journalists honored by the National Television Academy’s New York Chapter for their contributions to the television industry. He was inducted into the Silver Circle, whose former inductees include Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather.
Mr. Newberg is a founding member of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association and helped launch an effort to rescue deteriorating TV news film and videotape before it is lost forever. The Broadcasters inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2006. A year earlier Mr. Newberg was honored with the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Michigan State University College of Arts and Sciences, his graduate school alma mater.
The recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award has been honored with dozens of local, state and national awards, including thirteen New York Emmys, six regional Edward R. Morrow Awards and many Associated Press Awards for excellence in reporting. Several of his documentaries are included in the Paley Center for Media’s permanent collection and in Israel’s Yad Vashem.
Since retiring from on-air TV news reporting, Mr. Newberg has founded Teachable Moments In Time, an educational service that offers teachers primary source material drawn from many of his award winning documentaries. His major works are also digitally featured on the website of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. He has authored several nationally published articles on the urgent need to preserve local television news archives and the lessons they hold as moving image chronicles of history.
Mr. Newberg is a union member of SAG-AFTRA and belongs to the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the Association of Moving Image Archivists. He is a Buffalo SPJ scholarship trustee as well. He is an honorary board member for life of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo and an honorary lifetime member of the National Television Academy’s New York Chapter. He once served as one of the chapter’s regional vice presidents and was part of a successful effort to ward off a move to place upstate New York television stations into the Great Lakes chapter.
Born in New York City in 1947 to parents Marvin J. and Elaine Gold Newberg, Mr. Newberg credits their nurturing childhood support and guidance for his later pursuit of a career in broadcast journalism. As a child he wrote scripts and produced puppet shows for young audiences in his hometown of Elmont, New York.
In 1986 Mr. Newberg married Buffalo native Lori Levin, who gave up a career as a special education teacher to stay at home and raise their two sons, David and Michael. David is a producer of animation in Hollywood. Michael is the senior producer for CNBC’s Closing Bell program. Mr. Newberg enjoys traveling the country his wife in their motorhome, visiting with their children and their spouses, Molly and Vildana, and producing documentaries.
Mr. Newberg has been honored with dozens of local, state and national awards, including thirteen New York Emmy Awards, six regional Edward R. Morrow Awards, and many Associated Press Awards for excellence in reporting.
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