It seems that J.R. Berry was destined to become a television anchorman. His love of journalism and being on top of the big story has been a part of J.R's life for many years.
A Sumter, South Carolina native, J.R began his broadcasting career in radio in 1977. Over the years, he has reported news for a number of Midlands radio stations and has became well known for being the voice of the big story. In 1989 when Hurricane Hugo was bearing down on The Midlands, J.R. was working for WIBZ radio in Sumter, which was the only station in the area that stayed on the air. J.R. not only kept Midlands residents informed, but also his reassuring style provided a voice of calm during a threatening situation. His continuing reports on Hurricane Hugo garnered him recognition from then President George Bush.
J.R. joined WLTX-TV in 1990 as General Assignment Reporter and his first project found him on location in Saudi Arabia reporting on the men and women from Ft. Jackson and Shaw Air Force Base involved in the Persian Gulf War. During the 90's, J.R. reported on a number of the big stories in The Midlands from The Statehouse to the neighborhoods. He won numerous reporting awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting, Spot News, and Documentary work.
In addition to his work at WLTX-TV, J. R. also made his mark in the Columbia radio market, anchoring the morning news for WVOC radio from 1994 to 1996.
In 1998, J. R. moved to the mornings as News Anchor and teamed up with meteorologist Darci Strickland on News 19's Morning and Noon News programs. In 1999, the morning program grew and became Columbia's first 2-hour morning news program, airing from 5a - 7am. Since then, J.R. and Darci's engaging personalities have helped to make News 19's morning news a popular Columbia routine.
In September 2002, J.R. Berry and Darci Strickland became evening anchors of News 19, joining Chief Meteorologist Jim Gandy and Sports Director Bob Shields, creating Columbia's true hometown News team.
J.R. is very involved in the community throughout the Midlands and has received numerous awards and citations for his community service. He is one of the main speakers for the News 19 Choices program, a partnership with the Richland County's Sheriff's Department that visits area schools urging students to make the right choices in life.
J. R. has 6 children and 17 grandchildren. In his spare time, you can usually find J. R. on the golf course.