Remembering ‘Miss Nancy’ Berg as a Broadcaster and Business Woman

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WILKES-BARRE -- Newswatch 16 learned over the weekend that Nancy Berg, the original host of WNEP-TV's children show, "The Land of Hatchy Milatchy," passed away. She hosted the show from the 1950s through the early 1960s. People are now remembering her legacy which goes beyond the children's show.

"She was an on-camera personality and a behind-the-scenes force to be reckoned with," said Helen Lavelle, the CEO and Creative Strategist of Lavelle Strategy Group in Scranton.

Nancy Berg had a long career in broadcasting. It started in radio in the 1950s. Her best-known role was Miss Nancy.

She was educating our children. She was teaching them right from wrong through the vehicle of Hatchy Milatchy, and also through what she was doing for WNEP, which is a big deal," Lavelle said.

The original host of Hatchy Milatchy did more than just teach kids how to tell time. She was a pioneer for women in business and advertising.

"I think it's really important for our viewership to understand that back then, it was really difficult what she did," Lavelle explained.

Lavelle knew Berg personally and remembers her for paving the way for area women in the sometimes tough worlds of broadcasting and advertising.

"A very astute, professional, I didn't know her any other way," Lavelle said.

Miss Nancy and her family always thought of Luzerne County as home. In the late 1960s, after living in Chicago for a number of years, they moved back to Wilkes-Barre and opened an advertising agency on the ninth floor of the old United Penn Bank Building on Market Street.

"The agency's name was Hal Berg Agency, one could only imagine who was doing the work there. I'm sure Hal did too, but from what I understand, they were a real partnership," Lavelle said.

Lavelle was just 28 herself. She developed her ad agency in Scranton. She watched Miss Nancy as a kid, and like a full circle, Miss Nancy quickly because Lavelle's mentor as a business woman and advertiser.

"We always have to remember. We have to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us and I'm a big proponent of helping younger women myself come up through the ranks," Lavelle explained.

Nancy Berg and her husband owned and operated the ad agency in Wilkes-Barre until Berg retired in 1997.

Berg passed away at her home in Lancaster County on Tuesday, April 18. She was 85.