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Chris Bury Continues Award-Winning Journalism Career at WYCC in Englewood

By Wendell Hutson | October 4, 2013 7:04am
 Chris Bury, an award-winning TV journalist, co-hosts a weekly news program for WYCC, which is based at Kennedy-King College.
Chris Bury, an award-winning TV journalist, co-hosts a weekly news program for WYCC, which is based at Kennedy-King College.
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DNAinfo/Wendell Hutson

ENGLEWOOD — Chris Bury ended a 30-year career as a national correspondent with ABC News in January, and a month later he was hired to co-host a weekly news show for WYCC, which is based at Kennedy-King College.

During his tenure at ABC, Bury reported for "Good Morning America," "World News Tonight" and "Nightline."

The South Shore native said he was recruited to the station by Ron Schofield, who worked with him in the Midwest bureau of ABC News, and who is now the executive director of media services at the City Colleges of Chicago's WYCC.

The Emmy-winning broadcast journalist, whose father and grandfather grew up in Roseland and attended Fenger Academy High School, said he enjoys his new job.

 Since February, Chris Bury has co-host "In The Loop," a weekly TV news program on WYCC.
Since February, Chris Bury has co-host "In The Loop," a weekly TV news program on WYCC.
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DNAinfo/Wendell Hutson

"I love what I do, and that's being a journalist. I can't see myself doing anything else," said Bury, who co-hosts the news program "In The Loop."

At WYCC, Bury and co-host Barbara Pinto, another former ABC News correspondent, has tackled stories he said other TV stations are not fully covering, such as how Tax Increment Financing affects individual neighborhoods.

It's also given him insight to issues facing the city's neighborhoods, like Englewood, where Kennedy-King is located.

"Englewood is a proud community and has a great future," he said.

In addition to working at WYCC, Bury also teaches journalism to graduate students at DePaul University, and said he would entertain an opportunity to teach at Kennedy-King also.

And he has no plans on retiring as a journalist anytime soon.

"I am not thinking about retirement in any form or fashion. I don't even like the word 'retirement.' I have been in journalism since I was 15 and I have never wanted to do anything else," Bury said.

But working in one of the city's most impoverished communities has been an added benefit to his new job.

"I am able to see first-hand the challenges in Englewood," he said. "Crime seems to be the biggest problem for Englewood. It's important for people to feel safe."

Another problem he said Englewood faces is the lack of grocery stores.

"Englewood needs more investments like the Whole Foods store that will open in 2016," Bury said. "But prices would need to be reduced because people need to be able to shop there."

The 59-year-old father of two adult sons whose wife is also a broadcast journalist, lives Downtown and described Chicago "as the greatest city in the world."

Reflecting back on guests he interviewed for "In The Loop," he singled out Fenger Principal Elizabeth Dozier.

"She is one of the most amazing people we've had on the show. She has done a great job turning that school around," he said.

Armed with a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University and a master's from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, both in political science, Bury said he covered politics for much of his career at ABC News and made a prediction for the 2015 mayoral race.

"We'll have to see if the school closings are still in voters' mind when the primary rolls around. I covered the Clinton administration when Mayor Rahm Emanuel worked for him, and I can tell you [Emanuel] is a very smart and determined guy," Bury said. "That said, I don't think Emanuel will easily win re-election."

He cited a lack of support from black voters as one obstacle the mayor must overcome to win.

Throughout his career, Bury said he has traveled all over the world and covered numerous stories, most memorably the 2005 devastation left behind in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.

"I stayed there a month covering that story. The first night my crew and I stayed in an abandoned hotel. It was so hot we had to bust out windows to get some air," Bury recalled. "I literally watched people die as there was no running water, no electricity and a complete breakdown for help by the federal government. Those are images I will remember for the rest of my life."