Entries Tagged as 'NBC Nightly News'

open casting call for NBC Nightly News announcer (very unofficial)

NBC News Logo_All Copyrights Acknowledged

I’m not one to find a problem or an issue with something without trying to also come up with a solution. “Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution” is how I try to look at it.

With that in mind, I recently wrote about how much I disliked Michael Douglas’ read for the open of NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. As an actor, director and producer, Douglas is a tremendous talent. But for this particular read, he was awful. There are many people who share my opinion.

So it is with a solution in mind that I request your help, your participation in casting a voice talent to replace Michael Douglas (and fast!).

–> HERE is the NBC Nightly News theme for you to use in your audition (not for commercial purposes).

–> HERE is the script:

“From NBC News World Headquarters in New York, this is NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”

(As of 12/27/07 the nominations/auditions are now closed. Thank you!)

This is open to men AND women BUT only serious takes, not your dog or your mother or your two year old (although my daughter COULD do a better job than the current announcer).

I’ll post all entries here on audio’connell Voice Over Talent’s voxmarketising blog and notify NBC that they are here for their review. I’m not promising anyone a job but if you get it, you’ll owe me a very expensive dinner.

As an example for you, here is my audition:


–> P.S. Now you can listen to ALL the auditions here

And below is the NBC Nightly News theme (again).

bad choice

NBC News Logo_All Copyrights Acknowledged

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…

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!