June 5, 1967 |
David Ushery (born June 5, 1967) is a veteran American television news anchor at WNBC News 4 New York, NBC’s flagship owned and operated station. Ushery solo anchors the weekend 6pm and 11pm broadcasts, and is the primary fill-in anchor for WNBC’s weekday evening newscasts.
Ushery is also the creator and anchor of “The Debrief with David Ushery,” which airs on WNBC and the station’s New York Nonstop cable channel, as well as co-host of “Moms and the City and a Dad named David,” airing on New York Nonstop.
Considered “a standout at the company—and in this market,”  as well as an anchor willing to venture into uncharted territory  and create innovative programming, the award-winning Ushery has been a trusted and respected journalist in New York City since 1993. He has also been lauded for his volunteer work and commitment to community.
At age 11, Ushery was selected from a state-wide search to host the local edition of “Kidsworld,” a nationally syndicated television show. One of his early interviews was with the late Walter Cronkite, the former CBS News anchor once ranked as the most trusted man in America. In what could be considered a prescient scene from that interview, young Ushery sits at the anchor desk. He asked Cronkite, “What kind of person should be a newscaster?”   Cronkite responded that a person should have a sense of curiosity. Ushery has said of the interview: “Many have asked if I think that's when the seed was planted for me to become a television reporter and anchor. I say, YES.” Connecticut audiences would see Ushery grow up on television. He hosted “Kidsworld” until he was 18. 
Ushery graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double-major in Political Science and Journalism. While at the university he was a staff writer for the Hartford Courant newspaper  , where he honed his skills for covering local politics and events. He also reported for the Los Angeles Times. The CBS affiliate in Hartford, WFSB-TV, hired Ushery right after his graduation for its training program. But recognizing his talent, the station offered him a full-time general assignment reporting position within just a matter of months.
As the lead reporter for WFSB’s 11pm broadcast, Ushery covered many stories impacting the every day lives of the citizens of Connecticut’s capital city. But one of these stories made an indelible impression on Ushery: the night he and his photographer spent with residents of New Britain who were being terrorized by arsonists. Within two years of starting at the station, Ushery traveled to Moscow after the fall of the Soviet Union for a story on policing. The overseas trip would become the first of many in Ushery’s career, as news directors recognized his talent for covering international stories.
In 1993, at the age of 25, Ushery was recruited by WABC-TV in New York City to join its staff as a general assignment reporter, covering news for the number one station in the top market in the nation.  Since then, Ushery has been a familiar face to New York City viewers reporting on the city’s tragedies and triumphs.
He was part of the station’s coverage of the police investigations into the shooting death of Amadou Diallo and the torture of Abner Louima, the deaths of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and John F. Kennedy, Jr. and September 11th terrorist attacks. He was on the team of reporters for WABC’s extended coverage of the celebrations for the Yankees World Series wins and the installation of Edward Cardinal Egan to lead New York City’s Archdiocese.
WABC also sent Ushery on the road to cover world events including multiple reports from Haiti on the island’s political unrest, Pope John Paul II’s visits to Africa and Toronto, and the United Nation’s conference on racism in South Africa. Three years after arriving at WABC, Ushery was named anchor of a new weekend show, “Eyewitness News This Morning.” He also anchored the weekday morning newscasts and the news at noon. Ushery was later named primary fill-in for the legendary anchor, the late Bill Beutel. Ushery spent 10 years at WABC.
In 2003, he joined WNBC-TV to become the anchor of its highly-rated morning newscast, "Weekend Today in New York." The show's format of hard news and features, interviews and sports, allowed Ushery to display his versatility as a newsman. One year later, Ushery was also named anchor of WNBC's weekend 6pm and 11pm newscasts. These simultaneous appointments made Ushery in effect "the face" of WNBC during the weekend, anchoring all the station's morning and evening newscasts on Saturday and Sunday. In 2006, Ushery was named co-anchor of WNBC's iconic "Live at 5" program, alongside legendary anchor Sue Simmons. After a change of programming, Ushery returned to anchor the weekend broadcasts for "News 4 New York." 
As an anchor at WNBC, he has steered coverage of some of the most memorable events in recent memory including the "Miracle on the Hudson," the emergency landing of US Air Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, and the 2008 Presidential election of Barack Obama.
Ushery has also represented NBC Universal in national initiatives. He hosted the network's special program on its switch to digital in 2009, as well as "Going Green at Any Age," which examined ways to help the environment.
In 2009, Ushery conceived and launched “The Debrief with David Ushery,” which has been called a must-watch program  that was nominated for a 2011 Emmy Award. The weekly, half-hour broadcast gives viewers a unique perspective on important current events. According to the show’s opening lines, “Eight million stories in the naked city. And chances are you can only keep up with a fraction of them during your hectic day. Give us just a few minutes then to bring you up to speed on What New Yorkers are talking about.”
Ushery takes a high-energy, unscripted approach for his interviews with reporters and newsmakers. Viewers are meant to feel part of the conversation about major stories. The show has garnered attention and praise for breaking boundaries and challenging long-held tenets of being an anchor. In “The Debrief,” Ushery doesn’t sit behind an anchor desk but rather moves freely around the News 4 newsroom, giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the operation. He also often goes tie-less, an informal look he sometimes wears when he anchors the more traditional evening newscasts. Ushery was noted for boldly venturing into uncharted territory for not wearing a tie.
The no tie-look also caught the attention of other media, including the New York Times  and NBC “Nightly News” Anchor Brian Williams, who during a holiday television appearance with Ushery joked that viewers should consider giving Ushery a necktie. Even New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg joined in the fun. At the annual Gracie Mansion holiday party for the press in December 2010 Mayor Bloomberg called Ushery to the podium saying he “was really excited by ‘The Debrief,’ your new show about New York.” The Mayor also remarked that Ushery seemed a “little underdressed.” The Mayor whipped off his own tie and presented it to Ushery as a gift.
In 2010, after a “Debrief” segment featuring blogging New York City mothers, Ushery developed and launched a spin-off program. “Moms and the City and a Dad named David,” features Ushery and three mothers offering a straightforward look at life in the city from a parent’s point of view. Ushery has said the fourth mother on the program is New York City. The program airs on WNBC’s New York Nonstop cable channel.
Awards & Honors
During his long career in New York City, Ushery has been recognized for his contributions to the community. In 1993, he won an award from the National Association of Black Journalists for his series of reports on children and violence. In 1999, The Network Journal, the Black Professionals and Small Business Magazine, named Ushery as one of its “40 Under-Forty” for his significant accomplishments. In 2000, the Israeli Consulate in New York City honored Ushery for his dedicated reporting. And in 2010, Ushery was honored as a recipient of McDonald’s Faces of Black History Award.
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