bad choice

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Monday evening NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams debuted its new announcer for the show’s open.

They teased in blogs how they were going to debut the new voice (a voice well known to many) to replace the recorded voice of Howard Reig who had retired two years ago.

I watched with eager anticipation the Nightly News open, remembering with fondness how blown away I was by the use of Walter Cronkite’s voice when Katie Couric took over the CBS Evening News…that was so brilliant and subtle, it was perfect.

NBC News’ choice – Michael Douglas.

My response – What the…?

I have no idea, not one clue as to why somebody at NBC News would think Michael Douglas would be considered the perfect voice to introduce the network’s flagship broadcast. He sounded dull, lacking authority, bad. I didn’t immediately recognize the voice when I heard it so where’s the celebrity value in that?

Mind you, as an actor, producer and director Michael Douglas is an impressive professional. And as a voice over in some commercials, he has sounded great. He is very talented!

But for the open of NBC Nightly News, he sounds terrible. I’m not the only one who didn’t like the choice either.


Is that “New York” he tried to say? Nooz?! Didn’t anybody ask for a re-take? Who directed the session?

Make no mistake, I am not gunning for the job, I’m not bitter that Steve Capus over at NBC News didn’t call me for the recording. But this news operation has had so few mis-steps amongst anchors changes, budget cuts, merging of its cable new operations, new sets etc., that this stupid choice (in my opinion) for an announcer sticks out like a sore thumb.

So let me take a quick vote…don’t vote for yourself and don’t vote for me but tell me who you think would have made a tremendous choice for the announce job at Nightly. I can think of three or four voices right off the bat. But let’s discuss this (oh and you can tell me how wrong I am to not like the Douglas choice too).

P.S. Wow, look at the comments on the NBC Nightly News blog. The Douglas choice is a bomb…and this is the guy Brian Williams wanted as his announcer?! Ooops!!!!

P.P.S. Oh man! The digs continue with competitors making some hay at NBC’s expense…

4 Responses to “bad choice”

  1. Peter, What struck me immediately was how he mispronounced “news.” It is NOT “nooz”

    There is a list of 30 voiceover names below that would have certainly done a better job!:)

    Have a great Merry Christmas – and keep up your excellent “To-BLOG-ganing”:)

  2. Peter, I don’t watch TV news, so I missed this altogether.

    I agree with you. I love Michael Douglas on screen, but doing this VO he is a total bomb. He can’t pronounce the words and he’s just plain dull.

    I guess the choice of him as an announcer points to our total obsession with celebrity culture. Maybe they’ll sack him and pick Britney Spears or Will Ferrell ;(

  3. […] that in mind, I recently wrote about how much I disliked Michael Douglas’ read for the open of NBC Nightly News with Brian […]

  4. Hi Ralph & Donna-

    It was an odd choice for an announcer, akin to hiring a friend who is less qualified to do a job rather than bringing in a more qualified stranger.

    Oh well, hopefully, our new audition process will solve the issue.

    BTW, you are both welcome to audition!

    Best always,
    – Peter