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the best voiceover performance of 2006

As we saddle up for the fourth quarter of the year, a time when networks like MTV and Premiere Radio Networks start assembling their countdown shows, I thought it fitting that I would announce (with 60+ days still left in the year) the best performance by a voice over talent in 2006.

The rules of this award, created by me and owned by me state that I cannot give the award to myself (darn those rule makers!)

No, the 2006 award for best voiceover goes to a voice that’s known by many generations both from his (ok, first clue: it’s a guy) radio and television voice work (some of it on-camera). He is also one of the oldest (clue #2), living (clue #3) and occasionally working (clue #4) voices around. He also loves to sail (clue #5).

On September 5th, like many Americans, I was watching the debut of the “new” CBS Evening News with Katie Couric opened the show with some headlines, read from her new multi-million dollar set inside her new multi-million dollar studio.

The new theme music was cued, the graphics came up and THAT voice intoned: “THIS is the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.”

The voice wasn’t just perfect because of its own rich quality, nor was it simply the really well paced read.
With all that included, the reason THAT voice worked so well was because the CBS Evening News, a broadcast steep in journalistic history, reeling not so long ago from a costly news scandal and now introducing the first solo female news anchor (which shouldn’t have been such a big deal) needed to deftly combine all the news gathering technology and fanciful broadcast elements with its storied (and successful) journalistic past.

When Walter Conkrite, the broadcast’s most famous and beloved anchor, introduced this newest version of the CBS Evening News, he was also imparting his implied blessing on this new news show. Almost so far in the background as to be imperceptible (as many good voiceover talents are) but authoritative and certainly recognizable enough to impart a feeling of trust in the news show that was about to be unveiled.To Walter Cronkite, I bestow The Best Voiceover Performance of 2006 Award. And to the CBS staffer who came up with the idea to use Cronkite, like they say in the beer ads: Brilliant!