Thanks to Kelley Buttrick, Ustaff writer for VoiceOverXtra for the great story on my Wheel of Fortune on-air audition.

Wheel of Fortune Audition Spins This Week For Joe Cipriano

By Kelley Buttrick
Voice Talent
VOXtra Staff Writer
March 7, 2011

(VOXtra) – The prize wheel is spinning, and Hollywood voice talent Joe Cipriano hopes it lands on the big one: New Wheel of Fortune Announcer.

“For me, Wheel of Fortune would be a career changer, a life changer,” says Cipriano

“It’s an ensemble, and there are many spokes in that wheel including writers, producers, cast, crew, music and contestants.

“I’d be thrilled to be a part of it.”


After the passing of iconic announcer Charlie O’Donnell, 78, this past November, Wheel of Fortune has been using guest announcers and is currently auditioning for the new voice of the show.

Cipriano’s audition week began tonight and runs through March 11 on CBS.

Producers will put a great deal of emphasis on viewer opinions during the audition process.

And people can weigh in with responses at [link removed], and post on the show’s wall [link no longer exists]


For those who have worked with Cipriano over his 27-year career, he would be the ideal voice of the number one show in syndication since 1983.

“Joe is the perfect fit for Wheel of Fortune. They call it America’s game, and he’s America’s voice,” says Susan Moore, vice president of marketing operations for Fox Broadcasting on-air promotion.

“His voice is so inviting that you just want to be where he is.”


Working in front of a live audience is energizing for Cipriano, who has a great deal of experience announcing for game shows, awards shows and other live venues.

“I love doing live shows. There is a thrill knowing that the mic is live to however many millions of people,” he says.

“It takes a great deal of concentration, but it must sound natural, and at the same time fit into very specific time slot.”


As he was recording the Wheel of Fortune auditions, Cipriano was directed by executive producer Harry Friedman to avoid doing an imitation of the show’s beloved Charlie O’Donnell.

“That just opened a door for me to run with what I was thinking,” says Cipriano.

“Just like Charlie was the sound for his era, I would like to be the sound of Wheel of Fortune for 2011 and beyond – and that’s going to be a different sound.

“They said they wanted something different, so that’s what I tried to give them.”


If he’s chosen, it would be Cipriano’s second time working for the Merv Griffin organization.

At 16, Cipriano was hired for his first broadcasting job, working Sundays at a Waterbury, CT radio station. Griffin signed his first paycheck.

Since then, he has been heard on all major radio and television networks, including being hired as the original image voice for Fox Broadcasting.

Additionally, he has live announced for the Emmy Awards, GQ Magazine’s Men of the Year Awards, The VH1 Honors and more.

Cipriano has also voiced countless promotional announcements and produced and hosted shows of his own.

He is also a regular tweeter and has a Facebook fan page at:


Cipriano is known for being malleable throughout his extensive career.

“Joe is a true professional and understands that this is a business that requires adaptability,” says his long-time agent Rita Vennari, president of SBV Talent.

“He continues to work his craft and grow his talent. If you look at his entire career, the sounds have changed, and Joe has adapted.

“He’s an engaging voice and you just want to listen to him.”


Cipriano wanted to give something back to the industry he loves, and last year co-founded the Don LaFontaine Voice Over Lab in Los Angeles with Paul Pape and George Whittam.

It is a tribute to the man who was well known not only for his work, but also his generosity.

The mission of the project is “to encourage new voice over talent to excel in their chosen field. To become the center of the voice over community, to inspire support and nurture.“

Cipriano has similarly earned a reputation as being more than a great voice over talent.

“He’s just a good guy. People have always liked working with Joe. He’s fun, and he’s a professional,” saysVennari.

“He understands that the voice over talent’s relationship with the writers and producers is a team.”

And this week, Cipriano is hoping his fans and the show’s viewers want him to be a part of Wheel of Fortune’s team by posting their support on

See other articles by Joe Cipriano on VoiceOverXtra: