Chris Berg leaves Valley News Live as company's vaccine deadline arrives
Vaccine requirement at Gray Television properties has led to staff changes elsewhere.
FARGO — Chris Berg has left his post as a conservative commentator and moderator of KVLY's "Point of View" show over his decision not to comply with a company mandate to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
1100 AM The Flag radio announced Friday, Oct. 1, that Berg will be joining the conservative radio station full-time. Berg already was planning to host a new program on The Flag, "The Chris Berg Show," weekdays from 4 to 5 p.m. starting Monday.
"I had a great experience at Valley News Live," Berg said. "I'm excited to be at The Flag."
Beyond that, Berg declined to comment.
KVLY declined to comment on Berg's departure.
"We can't comment on staffing matters," said Renee Nygren, news director at Valley News Live.
Steve Hallstrom, president and managing partner at The Flag, said talks about a larger role for Berg at the station began to unfold last week after Berg expressed interest in a possible full-time position. The details were worked out by mid-morning on Friday, Hallstrom said.
"We're absolutely thrilled to add someone with his kind of star power to what we do," he said. "We're just trying to deliver great content."
Berg has known Hallstrom and Scott Hennen, a partner and host at The Flag for years, and the three have worked together on special projects, Hallstrom said.
Unlike Valley News Live, The Flag does not require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, he said.
The station's parent company, Atlanta-based Gray Television, required all of its workers and anyone who enters a property owned by the company to be vaccinated by Friday, Oct. 1, according to published reports.
The move has already resulted in at least one firing in the United States, a 33-year TV meteorologist at a station in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
In another development at Valley News Live, the "Meet the Team" bio of Tom Tucker, a news anchor who joined the station in August, has been removed from the station's website.
Tucker declined to comment.
Berg's back story
According to a story published by The Forum in 2013:
Berg was starting quarterback at Fargo South High and helped the Bruins to undefeated state titles in 1989 and 1990.
After winning a scholarship at Division I Stanford, Berg spent the 1991 season redshirted by Stanford coach Dennis Green, who left at the end of the season to coach the Minnesota Vikings.
Berg then was given limited playing time by Green's replacement, former San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh, and Berg decided to transfer to the University of Northern Iowa, where he split time with another quarterback in 1994 and excelled as the lone starting quarterback in 1995, leading Northern Iowa to a conference title and finishing fourth in the nation in passing efficiency, according to Forum archives.
After football, Berg returned to Stanford and earned a degree in psychology in 1996.
Around 1998, he took a job with motivational speaker Tony Robbins and a few years later he took a job with SkyPipeline, a wireless Internet service provider, developing the company's sales system and training and managing its sales staff.
In the early 2000s, Berg delved into acting, earning appearances on a number of TV shows.
Also in the early 2000s, Berg took a job as vice president of business development for Student-Athlete Showcase, a company that guides high school athletes through the college recruiting process.
Later, he and his family moved from California to North Dakota, where Berg took a job with the North Dakota Republican Party in early 2010 as deputy executive director, a job that put him in charge of fundraising and working with news media in Fargo.
Berg had been in that job for about 10 months when he took a new direction and landed a job hosting his own radio show "We the People" at AM 1100 The Flag.
He began appearing on KVLY's "Point of View" in early 2012 and went full-time at the station in June of that year.
As a conservative political commentator, Berg made the news himself a number of times, including in November 2020 when Berg's Twitter account was suspended for violating Twitter's rules, according to a column written for The Forum by Rob Port.
Port stated in his column that he was unable to pinpoint what may have triggered the suspension, but he wrote that prior to the suspension Berg had been posting heavily about the 2020 presidential election and claims about voter fraud.
In August 2012, Berg received heat for comments he made on a Web-only show he had at the time that drew a comparison between Adolf Hitler's propaganda techniques and U.S. House candidate Pam Gulleson, a Democrat.
Berg apologized for the comments, but in their wake, he lost a position as a sideline reporter for North Dakota State University football TV broadcasts.