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that’s what christmas is all about, charlie brown.

Charlie Brown Christmas_ All Right and Trademarks Acknowledged

The world of voice over is full of unique, creative people.

As I have often said, voice talents do not compete against each other, we compete for the subjective ear of the producer. That’s why I enjoy my friendships with so many voice talents around the globe.

Talent is one thing, heart is another and most of the VO’s I know have large amounts of both, like Philip Banks.

He initiated a project Monday on the VO-BB which was akin to a festive audio chain letter among board members. Requesting we alternate between male and female voice talents on the board, he wrote out the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and asked us to read two lines each. Philip started us off and chose DB Cooper to read the next line. DB read her lines and sent it to me, I did my lines and sent it to Kara Edwards and on it went until Philip had the entire production beautifully completed within 24 hours.

That was his gift to us. My gift to all the voice talents who participated is some “link love” so that you may know even more about these talented voice actors with whom I am so proud to be professionally associated.

LISTEN HERE TO: Twas the Night Before Christmas presented by the voice over talents of VO-BB.com

Merry Christmas to all –
1. Philip Banks
2. DB Cooper
3. Peter O’Connell
4. Kara Edwards
5. Bob Souer
6. Diane Maggipinto
7. Todd Ellis
8. Connie Terwilliger
9. Brian Hart
10. Moe Egan
11. Greg Littlefield
12. Mary McKitrick
13. Michael Rhys
14. Liz de Nesnera
15. Frank Frederick
16. Tammy McDaniel
17. Greg Phelps
18. Caryn Clark
19. Greg Allen
20. Marcy Worthington
21. Frank Frederick
22. Liz de Nesnera
23. Michael Rhys
24. Mary McKitrick
25. Todd Ellis
26. Liz de Nesnera
27. David Monteath
28. Mary McKitrick
29. Philip Banks
30. Kara Edwards

audio’connell in st. louis


I have been remiss in the crunch of work and holidays and kidney stones (don’t ask) to thank fellow voice professional Todd Ellisfor joining me for dinner last week when I traveled to St. Louis.

Todd has enjoyed a successful voice over career part time and now (for the past five years) full time. He has a wonderfully humorous disposition which meshes well with mine.

At the complex that housed the restaurant where we ate, Todd stopped by KTRS-AM, meeting with an old radio colleague of Todd’s, Shawn Balint, who is a news anchor at the station. (The picture features Shawn, me and Todd)

Together, we all shared many funny radio and announcing stories and proved yet again, when you are in voice over, you’ve got a friend in almost every city.

knock knock, facebook

Google_Logo_trademark acknowledged

The elephant in the room just subtly kicked off their own social network.

If it smells like competition and looks like competition, Facebook this is your new competition.

Open your Google Reader, click manage my subscriptions and click the tab marked “Friends”.

and finally tonight…

NBC News Announcer Howard Reig & Anchor Tom Brokaw_Courtesy NBC News

Two things about voice over work:

1. It’s often anonymous – people hear our voices but other than a few family members, friends, clients or industry pros, no one knows its us. And that’s just fine by me.
2. Jobs often last from anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes and unless you’ve hooked a ad campaign, VO’s are off fishing for their next job and soon as they leave the studio

So it is with great awe that I announce to you the vocal retirement from NBC News of announcer Howard Reig. He has been introducing the NBC News’ evening broadcast going back to the days of The Huntley Brinkley Report and straight through to NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Howard really retired from the network a few years ago, but they liked his voice so much they kept using it. And his retirement kinda fell under the radar. So now, let’s take note.

December 14th was the last broadcast of his voice, with NBC’s blog post offering up a tease of a new “familiar” voice to be unveiled on December 17th’s broadcast (possibly ala Walter Cronkite’s announce for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

But with an estimate of having introduced over 7,000 broadcasts, not including his career at WGY in Schenectady, NY, he’s held his voice over job for a truly impressive stretch. And the performance while anonymous was always spot on.

On the Nightly News blog post Friday, I left a comment for a man whom I have never met but who I know would have some wonderful stories to share about a great career:


From one voice over professional to another, my sincerest congratulations on a terrific career. And kudos to NBC News for honoring you for your years of service. You give the rest of us an example of excellence to strive for.

Best always,
– Peter

I hope all my fellow voice over professionals with also sign the NBC News’ blog post’s “guest book” and let Howard know that we too respect all that he has been able to accomplish and wish him well. Wow, what an impressive ride!

now you can start playing christmas music

audio’connell Christmas Wreath

Here’s the thing – I know some Adult Contemporary (AC) radio stations start their “All Christmas – All The Time” formats about a week before Thanksgiving in most US radio markets. They do this because their listenership increases and those listeners usually stay around after the holiday is over and into the next ratings book which boosts their ratings and allows the station to get a leg up on ad revs. A perfectly fine business practice.

Those stations are banished from my car radio pre-sets one only for the Christmas period and one entirely. Now I am a 43 male, not the demo these stations are looking for…certainly not the sex they are aiming their programming for (women do the buying) but I can’t stand this further yet commercialization of Christmas. So pulling them off my pre-sets is my silent protest and no one from either station has called me personally to ask me to come back to them (imagine that)!

But as we are ten days out from Christmas Eve, I will now allow you to begin playing Christmas music occasionally on your stations.

I know that this is the correct time because the local Album Oriented Rock (AOR) station in town has evidently been running a Bruce concert ticket giveaway in which if you hear one of his Christmas songs, you can win a pair of tickets to his concert (which I don’t think is here until Q3 ’08). I hadn’t heard about this promotion but because I ardently avoid Christmas music, I hadn’t heard Bruce’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” yet.

I did this morning on that station (which is always judicious in it’s playing of Christmas music) and as is my tradition, once I hear it, Christmas can begin. I know you were waiting for my signal so – there it is.

And so there’s no confusion, here’s my Christmas music contribution that features some great animation and cute voice talent performances.

one marketer gets it right

Mr. Whipple

There are more times than I care to count in recent years where I realize I have become my parents.

That’s not a bad thing as my parents were wonderful people to whom I owe everything. But “parents” often make references that to a younger generation seem “historical”. Like “oh Dad, that happened so long ago!” even though it was only 20 years ago.

For some of you, even in the voice over or on-camera talent business, the “so long ago” comment may apply to my observation here.

Recently, actor Dick Wilson died at the age of 91. Many people knew Dick Wilson (I did not) but many millions more (myself included) knew his character Mr. Whipple, the grocery store manager who implored the ladies in the toilet tissue aisle “Please don’t squeeze the Charmin.”

Mr. Whipple sold a lot of toilet tissue.

As many commercial performers know, a good run for a spot may last 6 months to a year. Dick performed as Mr. Whipple for Proctor and Gamble for decades.

P&G created a product, Dick Wilson created an icon.

P&G gets my vote for getting it “right” with the commercial now running for Charmin.

May we all perform so well that our employers recognize us thusly: