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 Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The new Live Animal Encounters program introduces museum visitors to rescued wildlife.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

The third iteration of the series will feature chef J.J. Johnson, formerly of The Cecil and Minton's Supper Club in Harlem.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

The tacos-and-tequila bar and restaurant on the South Side doesn't do anything wrong, exactly, but has room to grow.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

As the team prepares the inaugural class of its Hall of Honor, Mike Prisuta selects the four members of the Steelers family most deserving of inclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

No. 14 Boutique in Lawrenceville put together this chic outfit for the tricky period when summer cools into autumn.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

Reviews of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Wind River," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Close to a half dozen local businesses, among them Savannah Hayes and Stak Ceramics, will make their debut next week at the mega interior design and home goods-focused show in New York City.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module