Catching up with Award-Winning NYC Broadcast Journalist David Ushery ’89

By Melisa Fink, UConn Journalism
Feb­ru­ary 12, 2014

After land­ing com­pet­i­tive intern­ships at both The Hart­ford Courant and Los Ange­les Times while still a stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Con­necti­cut, David Ush­ery rec­og­nized his call­ing in the news business.

Ush­ery is now an Emmy-award win­ning news anchor at one of the lead­ing news sta­tions in New York City, WNBC-TV News 4.

I trea­sured my time in the small jour­nal­ism depart­ment,” Ush­ery said in a phone inter­view. “In fact, I went back recent­ly to say thank you to Wayne Worces­ter, who was one of my instruc­tors there. That foun­da­tion of print and writ­ing has served me well in my career.” 

The native of Bloom­field, CT grad­u­at­ed from UConn in 1989 with a bach­e­lor’s degree in jour­nal­ism and polit­i­cal science.

Mau­reen Croteau is anoth­er pro­fes­sor Ush­ery cred­its for his strong begin­ning in journalism.

The good pro­fes­sors are the bread and but­ter of the depart­ment — the small, but mighty jour­nal­ism depart­ment,” said Ush­ery, who now helps UConn Jour­nal­ism shape its cur­ricu­lum as a mem­ber of the depart­men­t’s Pro­fes­sion­al Advi­so­ry Committee.

Ush­ery said the most valu­able skill he obtained dur­ing his four years at UConn was “com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”  He served as a stu­dent-elect mem­ber on the UConn Board of Trustees and held a vari­ety of oth­er cam­pus lead­er­ship posi­tions, which com­bined with jour­nal­ism, left him well pre­pared to speak in front of large groups and tell a good story.

There’s no sub­sti­tute for good sto­ry­telling. You have to have a good begin­ning, mid­dle and end and keep the view­er or read­er engaged. It should be fact-based, but com­pelling writ­ing,” Ush­ery said.

In 2009, Ush­ery took a risk and act­ed on an idea he’d been brew­ing. He want­ed to deliv­er local news in a dif­fer­ent, more fast-paced way. “[News 4 New York was] real­ly try­ing to engage younger views who were drift­ing away from a tra­di­tion­al 30-minute newscast.”

His idea came to be known as “The Debrief”, an Emmy-nom­i­nat­ed half-hour broad­cast that allowed jour­nal­ists to explain impor­tant sto­ries they had cov­ered that week. “The Debrief with David Ush­ery” airs every Sun­day on WNBC-TV at 5:30 a.m.

View­ers can also catch Ush­ery on the week­end edi­tions of “News 4 New York” at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Fol­low David Ush­ery on Twit­ter at @DavidUshery4NY.