Rich Newberg: Biography
Rich Newberg is the Senior Correspondent for News 4 Buffalo, WIVB-TV. He joined the CBS affiliate in 1978 as Weekend Anchorman, later becoming a main anchor for the 5 and 11 p.m. newscasts. Rich was named Senior Correspondent in 1999, reporting on the big stories of the day and heading the documentary unit at News 4. He initially teamed up with photographer Tom Vetter, who has since started his own production company. "I can't imagine working in a better news operation," says Rich. "The station has allowed me to grow as a journalist. We have all matured here together. Chris Musial, our General Manager, was my weekend intern thirty two years ago! He has built an incredible organization."
Rich was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame in October, 2006. He has won ten New York Emmy Awards for his television specials in Buffalo, which have included themes ranging from the fight against terrorism, to the challenges facing psychiatric outpatients and the developmentally disabled. "Our documentaries generally deal with the human struggle for dignity," says Rich. "We focus on people who have overcome incredible odds by drawing on their own inner strength. Some of our most powerful specials have dealt with the history of slavery and Western New York's role in the Underground Railroad." Rich's many state, regional, and national awards include the Edward R. Murrow, CINE Golden Eagle, Telly, Hugo, Gabriel, New York Festivals World Medal, AP, and UPI.
Most recently, Rich was awarded First Place by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association for his continuing coverage of the City Grill Massacre in Buffalo. The prime suspect in the shootings of eight people was brought to Rich at WIVB-TV studios on August 25, 2010 to voluntarily surrender to authorities. Riccardo McCray was subsequently convicted of the massacre, in which four people were killed.
Rich considers his work on Holocaust survivors his most important contribution as a broadcast journalist. He and Chief Photographer Mike Mombrea documented a reunion of Jewish survivors who returned to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland, confronting their lost childhood. "Lost Childhood: The Story of the Birkenau Boys" is being distributed nationally. Rich and Mike also met Pope John Paul II in Poland and produced an hour special on the pontiff's life. Rich had first met the pope in 1985 after covering Solidarity's struggle for freedom in Poland. Rich and Hall of Fame photographer Don Yearke produced "Hearts and Minds Together," based on their experiences.
Currently Rich serves as a Regional Vice President of the New York Chapter of the National Television Academy. He is also a board member of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association, and Chairman of the Archive Task Force, whose mission for the Association is to retrieve the Buffalo television news film archives from the 1960's and '70's. Rich is also a Trustee for the Society of Professional Journalists Greater Buffalo Scholarship Fund.
Throughout his forty four years as a broadcast journalist, Rich has sought to bring the camera and microphone to people who generally don't have a voice in society. He started his career as TV News Troubleshooter, helping viewers solve problems that seemed insurmountable to them. Rich worked at ABC affiliates in Syracuse and Rochester, and the NBC owned and operated station in Chicago. Rich's assignments for News 4 have taken him to distant lands, including China, Japan, and the Persian Gulf. He covered the U.S. build-up to war in 1990 in a series with Mike Mombrea entitled "Beyond the Desert Shield." They spent time on a desert base with Air Force reservists from Niagara Falls.
Rich received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Arts from Ithaca College, and a Master of Arts degree in News and Public Affairs from Michigan State University. M.S.U. has honored Rich with its Distinguished Alumni Award.