Bill Hanrahan

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Bill Hanrahan
Born (1918-09-14)September 14, 1918
Died August 7, 1996(1996-08-07) (aged 77)
Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.

William A. "Bill" Hanrahan (September 14, 1918 – August 7, 1996),[1][2][3] was an American radio and television announcer, perhaps best known as the "Voice of NBC News."

Hanrahan's broadcasting career dated back to the 1940s, when he worked at WELI radio in New Haven, Connecticut,[4] and later went to WNHC radio (now WYBC) where he was a newscaster.[5] By 1950, he had joined the announcing staff of NBC in New York.[6] His radio announcing credits included Inheritance, The Eternal Light, Monitor, and a 1976 special called The First Fabulous Fifty [7] which was a companion to the network's 50th anniversary television special, The First Fifty Years.

Hanrahan's early television credits include The Nat King Cole Show, for which he was one of the announcers during its short-lived 1956–57 run. He also did a few other entertainment-based shows over the years, including two December episodes of Saturday Night Live in 1981 (the December 5 episode with host Tim Curry and musical guest Meat Loaf and the December 12 episode with host Bill Murray and musical guests The Spinners and The Yale Whiffenpoofs) on which he substituted for Mel Brandt (who was hired to be an announcer for that season following the brief departure of Don Pardo).[8][9]

But Hanrahan's biggest claim to fame was as announcer for numerous NBC News programs, including the Huntley-Brinkley Report and its successor, NBC Nightly News, until his retirement in 1983. He handled announcing duties for the network's coverage of political conventions, space launches, assassinations, and other major stories during his tenure. His voice became as familiar to a generation of viewers as those of fellow staff announcers Don Pardo, Bill Wendell, Wayne Howell, and Hanrahan's eventual successor as Nightly News announcer, Howard Reig.

Hanrahan died on August 7, 1996 in Fairfield, Connecticut, at the age of 77.


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index
  2. ^ Obituary on NBC Nightly News, August 9, 1996 Vanderbilt Television News Archive.
  3. ^ Monitor Guestbook Archived May 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. "I just finished your terrific book on Monitor (Take Two) . . . "
  4. ^ "Out of the Mouth of Radio Legend Bud Finch," by J.R. Morton. Hamden Daily News, December 19, 2005. Retrieved on May 22, 2008. (See also [1][permanent dead link].)
  5. ^ Sies, Luther F. Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920–1960. Jefferson, NC, McFarland & Co., Inc., 2000.
  6. ^ "Bill Hanrahan". Radio Gold. Retrieved 2010-06-04. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Monitor Audio Downloads Archived May 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. (with audio from The First Fabulous Fifty)
  8. ^ Saturday Night Live "Not-So-FAQ - The Cast and Crew" ("Q: How many announcers have there been?")
  9. ^ Saturday Night Live FAQ: General Questions ("Subject: Didn't somebody else announce in the early 80's?")

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Announcer on NBC Nightly News
August 1, 1970 – 1983
Succeeded by
Howard Reig