Len Berman had more than two decades as WNBC’s sports director. But in 2009, the high-profile sportscaster became one of the biggest cost cutting casualties at 30 Rock.
However, in the interim, this has been no hiatus for Berman. In the ensuing months and years, he maintained a strong work ethic. There were twice-a-week radio appearances on WOR, and a resurrection of his signature “Spanning the Globe” highlight package for a monthly segment at NBC’s Today Show.
Berman put another two children’s sports book on the shelf, with a third coming later this year, and has become a “go-to” media guest as a “Sports Anchor Emeritus.”
Perhaps his most consistent piece of work since leaving WNBC (though it started before that) is a daily Website: Thatssports.com. There, and in a subscribed email, Monday through Friday, Berman waxes about the Top 5 sports moments.
Adding to his various endeavors, Berman, 64, is back on local TV. Under the radar, he joined WNYW/Channel 5 three weeks ago as a contributor. The taped 60-second Top 5 segment airs every Thursday on the Fox 5 News at 10. Berman is assured of getting a great lead-in through May, thanks to American Idol.
“Hopefully that’s why they put it there,” Berman laughs.
But Berman has been in contact with Channel 5 and longtime friend, news director Dianne Doctor for a couple of years. She encouraged Berman to fill-in for Greg Kelly on Good Day New York. That idea came to fruition the day after the Super Bowl last month, when Berman joined Rosanna Scotto for the 9 a.m. hour.
That one-hour stint launched Berman into the rotating “rant” on the newscast with Ernie Anastos and Dari Alexander.
“We are excited to bring Fox 5 viewers this new ‘rant’ from Len Berman–this is definitely not your traditional sportscaster with a package of highlights,” Doctor says. “It’s his commentary; sometimes serious, sometimes fun–it’s Len’s unique spin on the latest sports headlines.”
Berman says he’s exploring “what else would make sense” within WNYW. At this stage of his career, Berman is not looking to get back to a regular sports shift, even in a fill-in basis for Russ Salzberg.
“I’m enjoying not working nights,” Berman admits.
However, the self-proclaimed freelancer is permitted by Fox to maintain his NBC appearances.
Berman says to keep it entertaining and flowing he won’t just read a Top 5 list on the air.
“It’ll be my favorite, pick and choose moments of the week,” Berman tells FishbowlNY.
Liking the synergy, Berman thinks its a perfect home for his latest on-air work.
“What better place for a Top 5 than Channel 5,” Berman says.