Ivy Berman, first female anchorwoman on WSFA-TV

Published 7:31 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

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This story about Ivy Berman ran in the Troy Messenger in 1977.  Ivy was born in Troy in 1938 and went on to become the first female anchorwoman on WSFA-TV.      

Viewers of Montgomery’s WSFA-TV may recognize Ivy Berman as the anchorwoman for the station’s noon news program.  But to many Troy residents, she is “the little blonde girl” who once played with their children.

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith

Ivy was born in the old Edge Hospital on Academy Street, and she lived in Troy until the age of three, when her family moved to Montgomery.  Her father, Dr. Douglas Mauk, was a local optometrist.  Even after the Mauks moved away, the family visited with friends and to attend services at First United Methodist Church.  Dr. Mauk retained several of his patients, who he would see on Sunday afternoons.

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“I no longer have living relatives here, but I still feel like Troy is my ‘roots,’, Ivy says.

After graduating from Auburn University with a major in English, she taught at Cloverdale Junior High School before embarking on her career as a broadcast journalist.

Ivy first worked as an intern at Channel 32, a Montgomery television station.  She hosted an interview show and covered news stories.

“The station’s on-the-job training program was a mini-journalism course in itself” she says, “and it was there that I learned the basics in broadcasting.”

Ivy began work at WSFA in 1972, when Charles Caton was the 6 p.m. anchorman and new director.

“When I started at WFSA, I was the first woman on the news team.  I was told I would be expected to ‘carry my weight’, she says.  “Little did I know that part of that weight would be occasionally lugging around 30 pounds of camera equipment!”

Ivy’s work at WSFA begins at 6:30 each morning, giving her time to prepare inter-cuts for the state news slot on NBC’s  “Today” show.  Then she selects stories and assembles visuals for the 12:00 news.  General afternoon assignments keep her busy “until the work is done,” she says.

“I guess Barbara Walters paved the way for women broadcasters,” she commented.  “When I was promoted to anchorwoman I was thrilled by the immediate view acceptance.”

Ivy has a son, Knight age 15, and a daughter, Victoria 13.  Family activities include swimming, camping, movies and talking around the dinner table.  “We especially enjoy being together as a family.  I think if children are shown love and are exposed to religion at home, it helps them to adjust to and make a happy life for themselves,” she says.

Ivy is a member of Toastmasters, American Women in Radio and Television, and Montgomery Shakespeare Players.  She and her children attend First Methodist Church of Montgomery.

“I thoroughly enjoy working with Clark Edwards (news director) and the rest of the staff.  I like the idea of knowing that the news I present is newsworthy and uplifting,” she said.

All of these articles can be found in previous editions of The Troy Messenger.  Stay tuned for more.  Dianne Smith is the President of the Pike County Historical, Genealogical and Preservation Society.