Beverly White will sign off for the final time at NBC4 on Friday night, marking a farewell for one of Southern California’s most respected television news reporters who leaves behind a legacy through her contributions to journalism and its future.
White started at NBC4 in 1992, covering a variety of local and national stories for NBC4, including the COVID-19 pandemic, street protests after the killing of George Floyd, the deaths of music icons Prince in Minneapolis and Michael Jackson in Santa Barbara, floods and wildfires, the catastrophic mudslide in Montecito, and the deadly 1994 earthquake in Northridge.
She was a trusted voice among viewers who could rely on White to find answers and gather information, often in a rapidly closing window of time before the NBC4 News at 11 p.m., and walk them through a story — the full story.
“She’s like the queen mother of news,” said photojournalist David Gregory. “Compassion and fairness. I mean it means the world to both of us really to make sure we get everyone’s voices in the story.”
White’s reporting was held in high esteem by both her colleagues and journalists at other stations.
“I was at another station, and when you saw Bev at the scene, you first knew it was an important story,” said NBC4 News anchor Michael Brownlee. “And, you said to yourself, ‘Crap, I just got scooped.'”
White went beyond telling viewers what was happening. She made sure they heard a complete story, particularly in neighborhoods that are often overlooked and under-appreciated.
“She makes sure that if we cover the bad, we also cover the good,” said executive producer Frava Burgess. “And, we make sure we show the best of people in these communities.”
White’s contributions to journalism in Southern California went beyond the nightly newscast. Throughout her career, White shared her time and talent with colleges and non-profit organizations. She continues to mentor students and interns she has met during her career.
“You cannot talk about Beverly White’s impact on journalism without talking about her being a mentor for so many African American journalists,” said station President and General Manager Todd Mokhtari. “Beverly doesn’t just say ‘Nice to meet you, I’m Beverly White.’ She says, ‘Come here, let me take you under my wing and help you get to where you want to go.’
Photos: Celebrating the Career of Reporter Beverly White at NBC4
“Whether you’re on the air or off the air, Bev wanted to make sure you succeeded in this business. She’s done that for countless people and it’s a great service to journalism.”
White helped others traverse the path she helped pave.
“Beverly is an inspiration as a journalist who never compromises her integrity,” said NBC4 Vice President of News Renee Washington. “Mentoring and representation are so important to her. I want to personally thank Beverly for being a trailblazer in this industry and making it possible for me to be where I am today.”
During the racial reckoning after the Floyd protests, White moderated conversations with the Los Angeles Urban League, the Los Angeles Department for Civil and Human Rights, U.S. Congress-members Adam Schiff and Karen Bass, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, the Safe Communities Institute at the University of Southern California, the Jamaica Cultural Alliance and during livestreams on NBC4 digital platforms.
In 2018, White received the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award. That same year she was recognized by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for her distinguished career. In 2017, the NABJ LA chapter celebrated White for her 25 years with NBC4.
Among her many honors, White also earned the 2017 Leadership Award from Kappa Tau Alpha, the Journalism Honor Society at Cal State University, Northridge; the 2012 Distinguished Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists; the 2008 California Legislative Black Caucus Leadership Award; and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Killeen Independent School District in her hometown of Killeen, Texas.
Prior to joining NBC4, White reported for WTVJ, the NBC owned and operated station in Miami, where she was on the team that garnered the 1992 Peabody Award for coverage of Hurricane Andrew. Before that, White anchored the weekday morning news for WKRC in Cincinnati. She began her career at KMOL in San Antonio, KCEN in Temple/Waco and KENS in San Antonio.
White is a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists. She twice served as president of the then-local affiliate chapter, the Black Journalists Association of Southern California. She has been a member of SAG/AFTRA since 1985 and served on the AFTRA national broadcast steering committee.
White holds a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.