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Gregory M. Weston

Lawyer Gregory Weston was born on July 27, 1957 in New Rochelle, New York to Miriam Yvonne Drake and Milton Moran Weston. Weston attended Stephenson Elementary School, Albert Leonard Junior High School, and New Rochelle High School. In 1979, he received his B.A. degree in political science from Howard University, and went on to receive his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1982.

In 1982, he joined Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler as an associate attorney. Weston served as an associate at White & Case law firm in 1986 before serving as assistant general counsel at New York Life Insurance Company in 1990. In 1996, Weston joined Thacher Proffitt & Wood as counsel. Two years later, he joined Battle Fowler LLP as a partner. In 2000, Weston was hired by Akin Gump LLP, where he served as senior counsel. In 2003, he served as senior director at Cushman & Wakefield real estate services. Three years later, he joined Nixon Peabody LLP as counsel. Weston was hired by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP as senior counsel in 2010. Five years later, he moved to Winston & Strawn LLP to serve as a partner in the corporate group. At Winston & Strawn, he served on the Hiring Committee, Diversity and & Inclusion Committee and as co-chair of the Black Lawyer Network affinity group, which he founded.

Weston has been a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity since 1999. He served as general counsel to the National Association of Investment Companies, as a member of the Real Estate Executive Council, as a governor appointee to the Real Estate Board of the State of New York, and as a State Senate appointee to the New York State Procurement Council. Weston was a founding trustee of Democracy Prep Charter School and a trustee of Democracy Prep New York Schools. He served on the boards of Weston United, The Bridge New York, Leake and Watts, Associated Black Charities, and United Neighborhood Houses, and as the board president of Weston United Community Renewal. Weston also served on the Finance Committee for The Riverside Church and on the advisory board of Mobility Capital Finance.

In 1995, Weston received the Service Award from the New York State Bar Association for his work as chair on the Committee on Minorities in the Profession. He received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 2013, the “Partner in Caring” award from The Bridge New York in 2017, and the Champion of Liberty award from Foundations for Criminal Justice in 2018.

Weston and his wife, Laura Michelle Morris, have two children: Nicholas and Lauran.

Gregory Weston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.081

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/20/2019

Last Name

Weston

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Moran

Occupation
Schools

Howard University

Columbia Law School

Stephenson Elementary School

Albert Leonard Middle School

New Rochelle High School

First Name

Gregory

Birth City, State, Country

New Rochelle

HM ID

WES16

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

The Moral Arc Of The Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/27/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

Lawyer Gregory Weston (1957- ) served as partner at Battle Fowler LLP and senior counsel at Akin Gump LLP and Pillsbury LLP, before serving as partner at Winston Strawn LLP.

Employment

Thacher Proffitt & Wood

Pillsbury LLP

Winston & Strawn LLP

Kaye Scholer Fierman Hays & Handler

White & Case

New York Life Insurance Company

Battle Fowler LLP

Akin Gump LLP

Cushman & Wakefield

Nixon Peabody LLP

Thatcher Proffitt & Wood

Favorite Color

Green

Drew Berry

Media executive and consultant Drew Berry was born on December 22, 1955 in Henderson, Texas. He grew up in Dallas, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with his B.S. degree in radio, television and film in 1978.

Upon graduation, Berry was hired at WVUE-TV Austin, Texas, an ABC Affiliate. He was then hired by two more ABC-TV affiliates in both San Antonio, Texas and then New Orleans, Louisiana before joining CNN in its infancy. After a short stint at CNN, in 1980 he was lured to WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to produce two of its number-one rated newscasts. In 1987, he was promoted within the same company to producer and then executive producer at WABC-TV in New York City.

Berry took an opportunity to return to Philadelphia in 1990 in management for WCAU-TV, a CBS television station. After a few months as assistant news director he was promoted to run the entire news department as news director, where he earned two Emmys for “Outstanding Newscasts” from the Mid-Atlantic National Association for Television Arts and Sciences and where his team elevated the station’s newscast to a solid number two in ratings. In 1994, Berry returned to Dallas, Texas, where he became assistant news director at WFAA-TV, the top-rated station in Dallas. It was there that Berry led a thirty-two-person remote on-site team covering the bombing in Oklahoma City of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

In 1997, Berry was hired as station manager and news director of WMAR-TV in Baltimore, Maryland. Berry was named vice president and general manager in 2000. In 2007, he left the station to teach media management at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communication at Hampton University, and also became founding president and CEO of Drew Berry & Associates, LLC, a media and consulting agency.

Berry is an active community leader. He has held positions on many business and community service boards and committees including the Comcast/NBC Diversity Council, Scripps Howard Foundation, Greater Baltimore Committee, the Maryland Business Council, the Signal 13 Foundation, Associated Black Charities, the Maryland Humanities Council, the Enoch Pratt Library System, the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, the Good Samaritan Hospital and MedStar Heath. As a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Berry has served on the finance committee, as consultant, and as interim executive director in 2009, and is credited with a one-million dollar positive revenue turnaround for NABJ in just nine months.

Berry was recognized with the State of Maryland Governor’s Citation in 2002 for excellence in broadcasting, and the Congressional Achievement Award in 2004 for business achievement. He received the President’s Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2009 and 2010.

Berry is married to Brenda Fowler-Berry, a chemical engineer. They have three children: Andrea, Adam and Andrew.

Drew Berry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 4, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.312

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/4/2013 |and| 3/22/2014

12/4/2013

3/22/2014

Last Name

Berry

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

University of Texas at Austin

South Oak Cliff H S

Albert Sidney Johnston Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Drew

Birth City, State, Country

Henderson

HM ID

BER03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

Challenges are opportunities in disguise

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Maryland

Interview Description
Birth Date

12/22/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baltimore

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Media executive Drew Berry (1955 - ) served as vice president and general manager at WMAR-TV in Baltimore, Maryland, and as professor of media management at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communication at Hampton University.

Employment

Drew Berry & Associates, LLC

WMAR TV

WFAA TV

WCAU TV

WABC TV New York City

WPIX TV

KVUE

CNN

WPVI-TV

KSAT-TV (ABC)

WVUE-TV

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Drew Berry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Drew Berry lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Drew Berry talks about his maternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Drew Berry talks about segregation in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Drew Berry describes his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Drew Berry talks about growing up in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Drew Berry talks about his paternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Drew Berry talks about his grandfather, Calvin Charles Berry, Sr., the Presiding Bishop of Church of the Living God

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Drew Berry talks about his father's family

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Drew Berry talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Drew Berry describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Drew Berry talks about his father's military service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Drew Berry describes his parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Drew Berry talks about his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Drew Berry talks about growing up in Oak Cliff, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Drew Berry describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Drew Berry remembers growing up as the son of a minister

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Drew Berry talks about his love of the Dallas Cowboys as well as the game of football

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Drew Berry talks about grade school and his memory of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Drew Berry describes how television news reporting changed after John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Drew Berry talks about how he was raised affects his parenting philosophy

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Drew Berry talks about his experiences in school and an influential mentor

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Drew Berry describes his interest in films and filmmaking

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Drew Berry talks about Iola Johnson, the first African American female anchor in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Drew Berry talks about the effects of the 1973 oil crisis

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Drew Berry talks about U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and other notable Texan politicians

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Drew Berry talks about his father's conservative attitude toward the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Drew Berry talks about his decision to attend the University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Drew Berry talks about the academic challenges he faced at the University of Texas at Austin

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Drew Berry talks about working to finance his undergraduate education and working as a reporter/trainee at KVUE, an ABC-TV affiliate

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Drew Berry talks about the training he received at KVUE as a reporter/trainee

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Drew Berry talks about working as a producer at KVUE in Austin, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Drew Berry talks about learning production at KVUE in Austin, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Drew Berry talks about his decision to go to KSAT-TV in San Antonio, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Drew Berry describes being recruited by WVUE in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Drew Berry talks about learning a critical lesson in management while at WVUE in New Orleans, Louisiana, part 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Drew Berry talks about learning a critical lesson in management while at WVUE in New Orleans, Louisiana, part 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Drew Berry talks about turning down a job offer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to work at CNN in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Drew Berry talks about working at CNN in Atlanta, Georgia in the early years of cable TV

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Drew Berry describes his decision to join WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Drew Berry remembers working with anchor Jim Gardner of WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Drew Berry talks about being promoted to work as a producer at WABC-TV in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Drew Berry talks about what he learned at WABC-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Drew Berry describes his working at ABC when union cuts affected the employee workforce and the newsroom

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Drew Martin talks about being promoted to news director and winning two Emmy Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Drew Berry describes the network's strategy around sweeps programming

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Drew Berry talks about how sweeps can result in improved news coverage

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Drew Berry describes the Nielsen Rating System and consumer sampling

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Drew Berry talks about the Emmy Awards he received at WCAU-TV

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Drew Berry talks about WCAU-TV's consumer investigative reporting unit

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Drew Berry talks about the ingredients of WCAU-TV's success

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Drew Berry talks about the MOVE organization and the mistake made in coverage by WCAU-TV's Action News

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$5

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Drew Berry describes his working at ABC when union cuts affected the employee workforce and the newsroom
Drew Berry talks about WCAU-TV's consumer investigative reporting unit
Transcript
Okay, so we were talking about the producer's nightmare in New York [City, New York]. So they [unionized employees at WABC-TV in New York City, New York] knew I was from the non-union shop in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] and I was this new guy comin' in there from the company [Capital Cities Communications] that just bought ABC [American Broadcasting Corporation]; they weren't crazy about that, so they wanted me to know--you're really in the big leagues now; you're in New York. So--ahh, 6:00 news, number one show in the market, so I--you know, I was a producer, I'm feelin' pretty good, I know there are check points, I check to see whether or not my video packages are ready for the top of show or for the first segment of the show, make sure the video is there, and that type of thing. So I would go back to the coordinator and I'd say, "How are we?" He says, "Well," he says, "Everybody's working as hard as they can; my folk work as hard as they can, and it's gonna be tight but, you know, I'm not making any promises, but we should be okay." I've heard that--I've heard that before, but something felt a little different this time, so I kept asking, you know--an hour before, half-hour before, 20 minutes before, 15 minutes, and--"Well, don't have anything, don't have anything yet; don't have the video yet, you know? They're really humpin' it. It was a lotta volume today but we're workin' as fast as we can." Five minutes--"Ahh, it's gonna be tight, it's gonna be tight." Before the open of the show, I go up in the booth, the open hits, "What do we have?" "We don't have anything; we don't have any video, we don't have anything." I say, "Okay." So I get on the little toggle to talk to the anchor in the ear--in his ear while the show opens. "Bill [Beutel], we have no video, no package for the top of the show; we just need to tell folk; tell 'em what the story is about and tell 'em we'll be back in a minute 'cause we need to buy some time." Sabotage is what they did. So the show opened, and the anchor came on and said, "Hello, I'm Bill Beutel on this"--whatever--"Monday blah, blah, blah. Our top story today is X, Y and Z; we'll have more on that story in just a minute--we'll be back in a minute." Went to commercial. That's a producer's nightmare because you're going back to commercial within 30 seconds of opening that show, so the whole half-hour of that show was me back and forth with the video people saying, "What do we have?" And just puttin' in; as we got it, we just--we put it in. After the show, of course I was livid; I knew it was sabotage, I knew what was goin' on. I marched back to the news director's office, I said, "You know what happened;" he says, "They got you." He said, "They got you; I'll handle it." Brought the folk in, guy said, "Well, you know what? Things got in late today, we were doing the best we could," you know, and "My guys work hard"--that kinda thing. And leavin' out, his back to the news director, he looked at me and went (INTERVIEWEE WINKED) (laughter). So that was my, that was--okay, you gotta play ball with this guy, okay?$$So what weren't you doing with him that (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--It's about establishing a rapport, but it was more than just establishing a rapport immediately; it was more the anger that they--they did not want this company to take over ABC because this company was known for doing things a very efficient way, and they knew cuts were coming and I represented the company that they didn't like, so it was an instantly--you don't want him here, so much so they brought other people in there. They put feces in people's locker who had came up; it was--they got really nasty, okay? The best thing to happen to me is that--it was around the political election; we went with--the top union guy and I were assigned with another anchor to go around the country during this election cycle; we bonded. I never had any more problems. In fact, even on the trip, the guy let me pick up equipment and help out. It was a bond. They had made their statement. Now, they had anger toward other people who were coming up from that--from that new parent company, and they didn't let up on those folk at all. But they cut me a break; they found out I was a pretty good guy, that kinda thing, and so I had no problems. But it took a couple of months before that. So it was a tough environment but it was just a great news town, and after a year, they promoted me to executive producer, and it was just a great experience.$We had a fantastic investigative unit--consumer investigative unit--and speaking of that, some of the things you don't hear that go on behind the scenes, in dealing with the sales department--this is when I really learned about sales and news relationship. Now remember, the salespeople, they go out and they get the money so you can keep the lights on; the news department produces content so that they can sell it, that type of thing. Well, when I first arrived in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] that second time, there were some big car dealers that were really pissed off at the station [WCAU-TV]. Now keep in mind, probably at that time, 40 percent of the revenue might have come from car dealers. So the car dealers, some of the car dealers, said they would never buy time on the station again because they didn't like a report that the consumer investigator did. Now this goes on; you're not gonna hear a lot about this. People don't--people kinda hush, hush; they won't say a lot. Well, I'm like--I wanna uncover all wrongdoing whether, you know, whether it's people doing unnecessary repairs, blah, blah, blah, whatever--that kinda thing. Well, we were banned from having this reporter do those type of stories at the major car dealers. The choice--you have two choices; you eat or you don't eat if you're gonna work there. You work there or you don't work there--very clear. We were banned from doing that. Now, I'd argued a good fight and all of that, and the argument from the other side is that, well, you know, you wanna keep other people employed, blah, blah, blah. Now, this goes on in every station; nobody will admit it. They're just not gonna admit it. But you will notice that you're not generally going to see many stories on a station going in uncovering repairs, you know--unneeded repairs and things like that, anti-car dealership story unless--two reasons you'll see it; if the state agency or federal agency comes in and says, "We're investigating you for whatever." You're gonna see it then, okay?$$But none initiated by the station?$$But they're not gonna be--usually, they're not gonna be initiated by the station, okay? And it's a kind of an unspoken thing, and people will deny it; they'll deny it because that speaks right at that whole credibility issue--wait a minute now. But what you will do is you may see some of the smaller mom and pop stories, but not the huge people who advertise a lot of money on the station; you'll occasionally see that, but most of the time it's because the state or the feds have come in and they're doing some kind of investigation, okay?$$So if you're a bad plumber, it's okay to get (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Well, bad plumber--they're gonna be all--you're gonna get them. But a big plumbing agency, you'll get them too, but I'm talking about car dealerships.$$Car dealerships.$$Forty percent of your revenue; and they have associations and all of that. So you have to be smart about how you do those stories. If the feds or the state get involved, hey, no problem. You initiate and try to do your sting and all that--at the big places, you are playing with a lot of fire, and it's unfortunate.$$Is there pressure from government? I mean, for instance, city government, around things like police brutality and other things. Are they (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--Oh, they don't advertise, so that does--that has no impact--just I'm talking about this one category, and that's automobiles, okay?$$Okay, cars; alright.$$That's the category 'cause it's--many times, a life blood of a television station, of a newspaper, okay; but especially TV--40 percent, up to 40 percent of your revenue. They shut down, you lay off, you lose jobs. It's, it's real tough.$$Okay. The car dealerships is something like a common denominator across the board that people--$$Pretty much so, but stations have tried to kinda get away from being so dependent on car dealership--car dealer advertising. They're trying to diversify their portfolio more so they won't have those type of pressures; but that was my first taste of that in the industry, and I thought that was just awful. So, you know, you find other ways to do it and to get the story to help consumers.