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 ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.
Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

If you’re on the hunt for Friday night plans with a purpose, consider sleeping outside to benefit those in Pittsburgh who have to spend every night on the streets.
The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

More than 80 years after its demise was erroneously reported, the David McCullough Bridge still stands as an engineering and architectural highlight among the city’s many spans.
Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Their tic-tac-toe passing would impress Mike Sullivan.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

In a year when youth-hockey participation is expected to increase, Pittsburgh Penguins players weigh in on the role of the hockey parent.
Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

There’s a magical, snowy landscape right in your backyard.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

It's the third year running for the concept, which was created by Simon Huntley of Pittsburgh's Small Farm Central.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

The one-of-a-kind night of bingo, trivia and madcap monologues returns in a new spot.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

The Hanson Brothers and other stars of the classic hockey film will return to Johnstown this weekend for a 40th anniversary celebration.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Chalk It Up

Chalk It Up

Doodle while you dine, or let your imagination run wild, with chalkboard placemats from Pittsburgh-based Chalk Lots.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Breaking down what we know and only think we know about the 2017 Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

This couple’s centerpiece from our Real Pittsburgh Weddings shines brighter than the traditional table bouquet.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Columbus-based store, where you can customize your own candle fragrance, is expected to open in March.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

An art director from Warner Bros. Studios will visit La Roche College to talk about the Oscar-nominated film with ties to Pittsburgh.

Comments