joining CBS in 1984, Andrea Berry recalls undergoing a year-and-a-half-long
technical management-training course that exposed her to every aspect of the
creation of TV programming. Among the things she saw, it was live programming
that really enthralled her. She soon asked for a job in sports production, even
though she had not been a passionate sports fan. "I asked for sports because I
wanted a challenge, and I got it," she recalls. "There were no manuals to do remote production.
There were no classes in school to teach you how to do it."
Berry's willingness to jump into daunting challenges
has pushed the Fox Networks Engineering & Operations' senior VP of media services into a successful
career with a long history of technical innovations. Besides being a part of
teams that have earned five Emmys for sports productions, Berry has been
involved with a number of infrastructure projects to upgrade operations or
launch new networks.
Berry's father, a physicist, convinced her to study computer science and
engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. There, she worked at the
college radio station and landed an internship with NBC O&O WMAQ. "I got
the broadcast bug when I was 18, and I never stopped working in TV," she says.
After graduating, she was quickly hired by CBS, where she thrived in sports
were only a few women, and I was the only African- American technical producer," she
had no idea that sports would be the springboard for my career. But in terms of
technology, sports has always been a place for technical innovation and trying
out new things."
When CBS lost NFL football rights to Fox, Berry in 1996 moved over to Fox
Sports Net as VP of field operations, where she was part of the team that
helped launch the channel. "It was a huge technical challenge to manage a
launch of a network that did about 4,000 live shows in its first year," she
From there, Berry rose to senior VP of field operations at Fox Sports, she
played a key role in streamlining and standardizing workflows for FSN's massive
production slate, upgraded some major facilities and spearheaded the move to HD
for Fox's coverage of the 2004 NFL season.
In 2004, Berry joined Fox Networks Engineering and Operations as senior VP of
broadcast operations, where she has worked on several new networks, including
the launch of MundoFox in 2012 and the upcoming launch of Fox Sports One. In
2011, she was named senior VP of media services.
In addition to balancing work pressures with her very full family life with her
husband, director/producer D. Channsin Berry, and their two sons, Berry has
also found time to mentor young people getting into engineering and TV. She is
a major proponent of efforts to get more women into technical and scientific
fields, serves on the board of the NAB Education Foundation's Technical
Apprenticeship Program and supports an innovative computer discovery camp run
by her alma mater for middle school girls in Chicago.
"I always encourage women to get into technology and hope that in the future
the gender gaps will not be so great," Berry says.