The Last Of The Announcers Retires

This is not a major news story. The Associated Press reported it and it was picked in a few places, including MSNBC. Howard Reig, one of the last remaining staff announcers&#185 has retired from NBC.

These are the guys who used to do the “NI” or network identification at the end of programs, intro’ed shows and were always there to say, “Please stand by,” or “NBC Radio news on the hour. Now from Cleveland, Virgil Dominic.&#178”

Reig was best known as the voice of NBC Nightly News.

As I remember, about 25 years ago the networks eliminated staff announcers, opening the way for the freelance promotional voices you hear now. Part of the deal was an agreement for lifetime employment for the staffers.

When I was a kid these guys did everything. They sat in the booth for live voiceovers, but they also appeared on shows – even hosted some. I remember names like Wayne Howell, Pat Hernon, Ed Herlihy, Gene Hamilton, Bill Wendell, Fred Facey, Don Pardo and Reig on NBC. Sometimes you’d hear these guys on NBC Radio Monitor late Saturday and Sunday nights. They were the utility infielders of broadcasting.

When I was a kid, I thought what they did was cool and actually thought I might enjoy being a booth announcer. My voice never deepened enough to make that happen. Actually, I still think what they did was cool, though unfortunately, of another era.

&#185 – All the citations I can find say Reig is the last of the breed, but isn’t Don Pardo still on staff doing Saturday Night Live? Is Joel Goddard, on Conan, a staffer?

&#178 – Every day, one NBC Radio “News On The Hour” (either 4 or 5 PM, I can’t remember) originiated at WKYC, the owned and operated station in Cleveland.


MSNBC.com

A familiar NBC voice to depart

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