Sam Nover

Before ESPN became such a media monstrosity, people in Pittsburgh used to get all of their sports news from men like Sam Nover.



Before ESPN became such a media monstrosity, people in Pittsburgh used to get all of their sports news from men like Sam Nover. As one of the mainstays at WPXI-TV for more than three decades, he kept folks in these parts informed with developments on the local and national sports scene each day, doing so with a deep and distinctive voice that could command a room like few others.

After graduating from Eastern Michigan University and doing radio and TV work in his hometown of Detroit for a few years, Nover accepted a job with WPXI-TV (then WIIC-TV) in 1970 and became one of the city’s most popular and respected sports anchors. Except for a brief period when he worked full-time for NBC on the national level in the early-1980s, he was a fixture on the local airwaves until he retired in 2001.

Nover, who turned 68 years old last month, now lives in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he owns a condo on a golf community and wildlife preserve called Ibis Golf & Country Club. He does part-time work for an investment company, Innovative Benefits Consulting, but mainly says, “I’m just loving my life right now. It’s nice to be able to get up each day and do whatever you want to do.”

PM: Every major Pittsburgh team enjoyed historic moments and won championships during your years at WPXI-TV. Are there specific stories or specific moments that stand out for you?
S.N.: Well, how could you as a journalist dream of anything greater than to be in Pittsburgh in the ’70s when the Pirates win two World Series, the Steelers win four Super Bowls, and Pitt wins the national championship? It was remarkable, and I was right in the middle of all of it, you know. And then the big story of the ’80s was obviously Mario Lemieux and the incredible career he launched that translated into Stanley Cups in the early-’90s. I mean, that was all remarkable stuff. Those are the things that stand out in my mind, and just being a member of the industry. I mean the friends that I made, the colleagues I worked with—Stan Savran and John Steigerwald and people like them—who became friends and competitors as well. That was pretty enjoyable.

PM: When did you decide you wanted to become a sportscaster?
S.N.: You have to understand that sportscasting was a labor-of-love for me. I wanted to be a sportscaster when I was 4 years old. I mean, you talk about knowing early in life what you wanted to be? When the other little boys wanted to be a fireman or a police chief or a cowboy, I wanted to be a sportscaster. I remember my dad told me that at 4 years old I used to sit by the radio and listen to [sportscaster] Van Patrick do the [Detroit] Tiger games, and it was Van Patrick I was interested in more than the Tigers. I always wanted to do that, so I lived my dream truly.

PM: OK, you wanted to be a sports anchor or sports announcer from the time you were 4 years old. But when did you develop that distinctive voice of yours?
S.N.: (Laughing) I don’t know. I don’t think I came out of the womb with it, if that’s what you mean. I was never cognizant of my voice until I got into the business and people said, ‘Oh, you’ve got a great voice.’ But my father always had a good, deep, speaking voice, a good resonant voice. You either have it or you don’t, I guess. There’s nothing you can do to control it. It’s a God-given quality. I was blessed with it, but I can tell you that voices don’t make broadcasters. If you’ve got one and you’re a good broadcaster, that’s great. If you’ve got it and you’re a horrible broadcaster, you’re not going to survive with just a great voice.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Downtown Pittsburgh is booming. The Golden Triangle has grown in ways that previous generations may never have envisioned, and the perception of the neighborhood at the heart of Pittsburgh is changing rapidly –– for the better.
And The Winner Is....

And The Winner Is....

Meet the top vote getter in our 2016 Cutest Pet Contest.
The Region's Top Dentists 2016

The Region's Top Dentists 2016

Our latest list includes 368 topDentists in eight specialities from around the region.
The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

Plus - we poll dentists included in our 2016 list of topDentists for their opinions and tips gleaned from years of experience in their profession.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Remembering A Rescuer of Gentle Giants

Remembering A Rescuer of Gentle Giants

Richard Kohl devoted most of his adult life to caring for homeless large-breed dogs.
10 Things You Might Not Know About The Old Allegheny County Jail

10 Things You Might Not Know About The Old Allegheny County Jail

The former Allegheny County Jail on Second Avenue, Downtown, remains one of Pittsburgh’s most iconic pieces of architecture.
Michael Keaton to Receive Big Hollywood Honor

Michael Keaton to Receive Big Hollywood Honor

The recognition comes less than month before the release of Keaton's newest film, which is generating some early Oscar buzz.
Ready for Takeoff: Pittsburgh Airport Hosts First 5K

Ready for Takeoff: Pittsburgh Airport Hosts First 5K

The course directs runners over taxiways usually reserved for incoming and departing planes.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Deep In The Heart of Downtown

Downtown Pittsburgh is booming. The Golden Triangle has grown in ways that previous generations may never have envisioned, and the perception of the neighborhood at the heart of Pittsburgh is changing rapidly –– for the better.
And The Winner Is....

And The Winner Is....

Meet the top vote getter in our 2016 Cutest Pet Contest.
The Region's Top Dentists 2016

The Region's Top Dentists 2016

Our latest list includes 368 topDentists in eight specialities from around the region.
Restaurant Review: Smallman Galley

Restaurant Review: Smallman Galley

The first crop of chefs in the Strip District restaurant incubator are four real.
The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

Plus - we poll dentists included in our 2016 list of topDentists for their opinions and tips gleaned from years of experience in their profession.
A Clear Head, A Cannon for an Arm

A Clear Head, A Cannon for an Arm

After his first taste of big-league ball, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow is ready for his close-up.
Edit Module

 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Remembering A Rescuer of Gentle Giants

Remembering A Rescuer of Gentle Giants

Richard Kohl devoted most of his adult life to caring for homeless large-breed dogs.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
A Thyme and Place

A Thyme and Place

Old friends Tricia Cohen and Lisa Graves reconnect via Facebook and collaborate on a historical cookbook.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

Grab your kits, scarfs and get ready to watch the Euro 2016 Pittsburgh-style. We'll show you where to go to get your fan on.

Comments


After Dark Hall of Fame: Sharp Edge

After Dark Hall of Fame: Sharp Edge

The local pubs that fly the Sharp Edge banner remain a favorite for top-notch beer and tantalizing grub.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Up-and-Down Bucs Survive First Half With Hope Intact

Up-and-Down Bucs Survive First Half With Hope Intact

The Pirates did just enough in the days before the All-Star break to embrace the second half of the season with anticipation if not expectation.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Namaste! Sandals Made from Yoga Mats

Namaste! Sandals Made from Yoga Mats

Sanuk’s Yoga Sling Sandal are super comfy yet chic.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The New Ghostbusters Is a Worthy Addition to the Franchise

The New Ghostbusters Is a Worthy Addition to the Franchise

Reviews of "Ghostbusters" and "The Infiltrator," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
A Whimsical Wedding in Wonderland

A Whimsical Wedding in Wonderland

This Pittsburgh bride brought all the details together for a flawless “Alice in Wonderland”-themed wedding.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Ten Thousand Villages Celebrates Grand Reopening

Ten Thousand Villages Celebrates Grand Reopening

The new, larger location in Squirrel Hill features an expanded selection of handcrafted merchandise.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Online Education at Edinboro University Nationally Ranked

Online Education at Edinboro University Nationally Ranked

The university landed in the top 10 schools for disabled students seeking an online education.

Comments