I had thought about writing about this for quite some time, and that time has finally arrived.
Yesterday marked a decade since Rich Fields became announcer of The Price Is Right. After Rod Roddy's death, lots of other candidates auditioned, including game show legends Randy West and Burton Richardson. There were even some unfamiliar names such as Roger Rose (of ABC O&O WLS-TV in Chicago), Daniel Rosen (he did the Live version at the time), Don Bishop, Art Sanders, Jim Thornton (chosen to succeed the late Charlie O'Donnell on Wheel of Fortune), and Fields himself (at the time, he was a TV weatherman, which he has returned to since his departure from Price).
Now, you're asking, what factors are there when you choose a successor after a longtime announcer has passed away?
Well, after original Price announcer Johnny Olson (or "Olsen", whichever you prefer), lots of candidates auditioned, including game show stalwarts Bob Hilton (Blockbusters 1980), Rich Jeffries (Blockbusters 1987), Goodson-Todman mainstay Gene Wood, and of course, Roddy (after Press Your Luck was axed; I can't remember exactly when he began; we do know that it was September of '86 that PYL was axed).
In both Price cases, my pick was Gene Wood. Why? Well, for starters, he did mostly G-T shows; and #2, that's exactly what Price is: a G-T show. So he would've had no problem there.
In the case of Wheel, after O'Donnell's passing, we had Fields, Thornton, Johnny Gilbert, Lora Cain (a newbie), John Cramer, and Joe Cipriano (of NBC game shows such as Deal or No Deal and 1 vs. 100). Thornton was ultimately chosen in June 2011.
My pick was Johnny Gilbert. At this point, like Gene Wood, you would be telling me, "John, he's too old! He can't do multiple shows like he and Charlie used to do!" And that's the point I want to bring up, the part about multiple shows. We all remember Johnny doing both Jeopardy!, Supermarket Sweep, John Davidson's $100,000 Pyramid and Super Jeopardy! in the 1990's; and Charlie doing the daytime and nighttime Wheel and Monopoly (followed Super Jeopardy!) in the 1990's.
In addition, he subbed for Charlie during Season 13 of Wheel, then subbed again after Charlie's death.
As for Lora Cain, I thought to myself, "Well, maybe Wheel could use a female announcer; after all, look at Chuck Woolery's Lingo. All the announcers he had were female: Randi Thomas (Hooked-on-Phonics spokeswoman) in Season 2, Stacey Hayes for Season 3, and Shandi Finnessey for Season 4 until its end; so why not?" Apparently, I got a lot of heat for that as well because my reasoning was flawed.
So now that I've thrown my 2 cents into this topic, it's YOUR turn!