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The Flip Side of Tom Bergeron

Tom Bergeron 1981 (c) copyright

Who knew back in 1981 that local radio DJ Tom Bergeron would blossom into a prime time TV host? Actually, it was pretty likely. He had the drive, the talent and the business sense to make it. Back in 1981 Bergeron talked about his early days and future aspirations to two high school reporters.




AFV and "Dancing" Host Was Seacoast NH DJ

TV-host Tom Bergeron was always flip. He honed his irreverent patter while flipping records on a Seacoast radio station. In 1981 Bergeron was the happy-go-lucky DJ at WHEB AM/FM in Portsmouth, NH. He talked frankly with two journalism students from Exeter High School prior to his evening broadcast. Born in 1955, Bergeron went on from radio to host Granite State Challenge, a PBS TV game show on NH Public Television. He worked his way through WBZ radio and TV in Boston and almost landed the spot as host of Good Morning America. Today, the mature 50-something Bergeron has been seen hosting, among other top shows, America’s Funniest Home Videos, the Miss America Pageant, Hollywood Squares and Dancing with the Stars. His dozens of TV appearances include spots on the View, with Tony Danza and Howard Stern, on Mad TV, Entertainment Tonight, Larry King Live, and even two episodes as an alien on Star Trek Enterprise. Portions of the following article originally appeared in the Exeter High School students newspaper. -- JDR

Tom Bergeron publicity photo

October 1981

High school was "a four year blur" for the boy who had "a craving to win elections". Tom Bergeron was editor of his high school newspaper and president of the student council at Haverhill High School in Massachusetts.

"I tried to steer the student newspaper toward more pertinent information instead of the usual gossip and bull," said Bergeron, now 27. When he expressed an interest in journalism, Bergeron’s teacher, who was also a newsman at the local WHAV radio station, set up an interview with the station manager. He was hired on the spot.

"When I got out of high school, I kept my job at the station," Bergeron says. "I didn’t see the use of going to college to learn about how to get a job in broadcasting when I already had a job in broadcasting. I regret not going, from a social standpoint, but I think it was a career-wise move."


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