Veteran ESPN sports broadcaster Chris Berman is the 2016 recipient of the Newseum Institute’s Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media. The annual award will be presented June 21 at the Newseum during the weeklong Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference.
Berman, who joined the startup sports cable network in 1979, has served as host on a variety of ESPN studio shows, including “SportsCenter,” “Sunday NFL Countdown,” “NFL PrimeTime” and “Baseball Tonight.” He has covered 34 Super Bowls, 30 MLB All-Star Games and Home Run Derbys, and 29 World Series. The host of ESPN’s NFL Draft telecast since 1987, Berman has served as emcee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony 16 times. He also covered golf’s U.S. Open for 29 years, serving as both host and play-by-play announcer from 2003 to 2014.
The award is named for the late USA Today and Freedom Forum/Newseum founder Al Neuharth, and is co-sponsored by the University of South Dakota. Neuharth, a South Dakota native, was a 1950 graduate of USD, which is home to the Al Neuharth Media Center. Berman is the first sports journalist to receive the lifetime achievement honor, which was first presented to legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite in 1989.
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