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Friday, May 12, 2023

Mark Berman to retire from FOX 26 Houston

Mark Berman announced on Twitter, where he releases many of his Houston sports scoops, that he is retiring from FOX 26 Houston KRIV after 37 years with the station on the same day as he started.

Mark Berman signs-off FOX 26

José Griñan to retire from FOX 26 Houston

"Some personal news to share: June 12 will be my last night on FOX 26 News at Nine. 

I’m retiring after 37 years on the job (43 in Houston). 

Growing up in my hometown of Hempstead I dreamed of being a sportscaster on television in Houston. FOX 26 helped make that dream become a reality. 

Working for FOX 26 General Manager D'Artagnan Bebel has made it that much more special.  He's a leader, mentor and father figure all rolled into one.  

What a privilege it's been to cover sports in the great city of Houston and to work at FOX 26, a great Houston television station."

Watch the above mini-doc to get an idea of what goes into a day in the life of Berman. Most media folks know that he's one of the hardest, if not the hardest, working news/sports journalists in the Houston media.

I mean, how many times do you hear on ESPN or another sports network, "FOX 26 in Houston has learned" or "Houston sports anchor Mark Berman found out..."

"I wake up in the morning, and my first thought is ‘What can I do to separate myself from the pack?’" Berman told retired Houston Chronicle columnist David Barron in 2011. "And when I go to bed at night, my last thought is ‘What can I do tomorrow to separate myself from the pack?’"

When social media became a thing, Berman dominated it.  When I was tracking Houston TV social media metrics, Berman was always at the top of engagement for members of the H-Town media.

"Mark Berman has been one of my closest friends for more than 40 years," tweeted former Houston Chronicle sports columnist John McClain.  "It’s the end of a Houston journalism era. Mark is the best reporter and hardest worker I’ve ever seen. His competitors will celebrate!"

Here is a Berman anecdote in a 2022 Ken Hoffman column for SportsMap:

"Several years ago, I was playing a neighborhood pickup basketball game with Steve Patterson, then the Houston Rockets general manager. I asked him, “How come you give all your scoops to Mark Berman at Channel 26? Don’t the other TV stations get mad at you?”

Patterson answered, “I don’t play favorites. I don’t call Berman and give him Rockets stories. He’s the only TV guy who stops by my office every day and asks what’s up? If someone in the media asks what’s going on, I’ll tell them. Berman just happens to be the only one who does that.”

To be fair, none of the current batch of local sports anchors was around when Patterson told me that. The others have upped their game, and by that I mean they actually show up for games and work the beat. What a concept!"

Berman has worked with channel 26 for 37 years. He started as the stations' weekend sports anchor on June 12, 1986 and moved to sports director in 1988.

Born in Hempstead, the University of Houston grad started as a weekend anchor/reporter for CBS7 KOSA Odessa, then returned to Houston as 95.7 KIKK's sports director. 

His daughter Jessica, is a television news producer who now works for FOX 26. 

"A legendary run," posted morning anchor Sally MacDonald. "We call him 'scoop' because he is always in the know before anyone else. A passion and work ethic that are unmatched.  When I got to be on the sidelines at a game with Mark I found myself watching him work sometimes more than I watched the field. Always hustling. Enjoy the rest and family. You’ve earned it."

(Thanks Shad!) 

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