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Philip Bergman Papers

A description of his Papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MBD
Date: 8 Feb 2016

Biographical History

Philip Stewart Bergman was an American journalist and television news producer. Bergman spent the bulk of his professional career with ABC News, producing news documentaries and stories for a variety of programs including 20/20, Nightline, World News Tonight and the ABC Saturday Evening News with Ted Koppel.

Philip Bergman was born October 21, 1933 in New York, New York. After attending City College of New York, Bergman began his professional career as a reporter and editor at the Newark Star-Ledger and later worked as a reporter for United Press International. Bergman did a short stint in the U.S. Army (1957-1958) where he served as an Army correspondent. In 1962, Bergman joined ABC as a writer for WABC-TV News, and from 1964-1967 he produced WABC-TV's late night news program. In 1976, Bergman took the helm as Executive Producer for the ABC Saturday Evening News, beginning a working relationship with ABC anchor Ted Koppel that would last for many years. After several years as a Senior Producer for ABC's World News Tonight, where he supervised all feature and series shooting and editing--which included the "Special Assignment Series" and on the road segments with Hughes Rudd--Bergman went on to produce stories and segments for other prominent network news programs, including Nightline and 20/20. While serving as Senior Producer in the Long Form Documentary Unit at ABC (1988-1989), Bergman was involved in the production of "Burning Question: The Poisoning of America", an Emmy Award-winning news special on the state of the natural environment, investigating such issues as illegal dumping, air pollution, ozone depletion and acid rain.

Over the course of his long career, Phil Bergman won numerous awards including 5 national Emmy Awards, 2 national Headline Awards, a Christopher Award, and an Aviation and Space Writer's Award for Television and Radio. Phil Bergman was the brother of Jules Bergman, the ABC News Science Editor from 1961-1987 famous for his coverage of the American space program.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Philip Bergman Papers contains over 200 media items related to Bergman-produced television stories and segments (audio tape, film and videotape) and approximately 18 linear feet of papers, also primarily related to Bergman's professional television career and specific story and segment productions. A small portion of the papers and virtually all of the photography in the collection relates to Bergman's pre-television career as a print journalist, prior to joining ABC News.

Media items in the collection include audio tapes, film and videotapes. "Audio" tapes primarily contain original interviews done by Phil Bergman for television stories and segments and include original interviews with Muhammad Ali, Jimmy the Greek, Henry Kissinger and others. There are also audio interviews done for pieces on air safety and a New York City cop story done for 20/20. Additional audio tapes were collected to provide background information or as potential selections for segment soundtrack elements. The bulk of the "Moving image" items (videotape and film) in the collection are dub-recordings of Bergman-produced television segments and stories created for a variety of ABC News programs. There are also videotape and film items collected as background and research material, or for potential inclusion in produced pieces

Most of the materials in the Papers portion of the collection relate to Phil Bergman's professional career or to specific Bergman-produced stories and segments. The "Professional papers" material includes program binders, program research materials, reporter's notebooks, as well as general network communications and programming data. In addition to a small batch of personal correspondence, "Personal papers" also contains material related to Bergman's pre-television career, including writings and story ideas. Virtually all of the "Photography" relates to Bergman's time in college, in the military, and his pre-television days as a print journalist. "Memorabilia" in the collection includes press materials related to national political conventions (1964, 1976), the Reagan Inauguration (1981), the press kit for President Nixon's trip to Belgium in 1974, and various items Bergman collected over the course of his career at ABC News.

Arrangement of the Collection

Media items related to Philip Bergman-produced stories are sorted by type (audio and moving image) and grouped together according to related program, when known. Items with uncertain affiliation are grouped together under "Individual interviews" (audio) and "Individual Bergman pieces" (moving image). Research and background media items are grouped separately. The Papers are arranged as: Awards, Memorabilia, Personal papers, Photography, Professional papers and Reporters notebooks. Collection materials were rehoused from original containers but largely remain in original order. Most collection materials have not been re-foldered.

Other Related Finding Aids

Ted Koppel Collection


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Research access to the tapes requires advance notice in order to produce a working copy.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Bergman, Philip S.

Corporate Bodies

ABC News.

Associated Titles

20/20 (Television program)
ABC Saturday evening news (Television program)
ABC world news tonight (Television program)
Nightline (Television program)


Broadcast journalism.
Documentary television programs.
Television broadcasting of news -- United States.
Television news programs.
Television producers and directors.

Genres and Forms

Film reels.
Phonograph records.


Television producers and directors.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Philip Bergman Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Jason Bergman, 2016.

Table of Contents

Media 1968-1995

Papers 1956-1995