Richard Wayne "Rich" Fields (born November 30, 1960 from Bay Village, Ohio) filled in as announcer on Wheel of Fortune for the weeks of November 22-December 13, 2010 and the week of January 31, 2011. He had the second-longest run of tryouts for any of the guest announcers, announcing an incredible nine weeks of shows.
Rich began as a radio host at KCBS-FM in Los Angeles, later working as an announcer at Universal Studios in Hollywood. He also performed announcing duties on Florida's lottery game show Flamingo Fortune (1995-99), filling in as host for at least one episode.
He is good friends with current Wheel announcer Jim Thornton; they both are on radio shows together on the KNX radio station in Los Angeles.
The Price Is RightEdit
Fields' most famous work was announcer of Price from 2004-10, a role which he repeatedly stated was his "dream job" after watching original announcer Johnny Olson (coincidentally, he and current Wheel announcer Jim Thornton both announced on Price just after Rod Roddy's death). Rich either had a fan following already or gained one very quickly after his first appearance, as the president of his fan club was called down about a month into Fields' tenure. Shortly after being hired, the podium his predecessors worked from was disposed of; rather than see it destroyed, he retrieved the podium and put it on display in his home. He also handled hosting duties on the first two Price video games for Wii and PC, as well as doing most of the announcing.
Rich became somewhat disliked by fans during the first half of Season 37, when he became the subject of many "Drewcases" (Showcases written by host Drew Carey) that made him look like either a jerk or a joke. Others criticized Rich for the tone of his voice. Following Season 38, he was fired due to unspecified reasons only described as "a mess of his own making and didn't have anything to do with The Price Is Right" (TMZ claimed he was a victim of identify theft, while someone claiming to be a close friend said that "he was getting tired, having too many personal problems"). Whatever the case, it is known that Fremantle extremely disliked him, wanting him gone when Bob Barker left in 2007, and that executive producer Mike Richards wanted an improv comedian to interact with Carey; George Gray, previously host of the daytime syndicated Weakest Link, ultimately got the job.
Rich is the only announcer to have worked on both the Barker and Carey versions of Price, as well as the show's first announcer to be replaced while still living (Olson died in 1985 during production of Season 14, while Roddy passed in 2003 during production of Season 32).
After Price, Fields' most recent work was announcer of Drew Carey's Improv-a-Ganza, which ran on GSN for a few months in 2011; he also was a guest performer for one episode.