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John Condon, KCBS Staff Announcer Who Worked for Johnny Carson, Dies at 88

John Condon, staff announcer at KCBS-TV (KNXT) in Los Angeles from 1951 to 1988, on-camera announcer for Johnny Carson’s TV shows of 1953 (“Carson’s Cellar”) and 1955, and host of Arnold Shapiro’s “Scholarquiz,” died of natural causes in Fairfield, Conn., on May 10. He was 88.

Condon was one of the original five staff announcers at KNXT in 1951. He was the opening voice for KNXT’s “The Big News,” which was the first 45-minute long television news broadcast in the nation, introduced in 1961 (and also the launchpad for L.A. newscaster Jerry Dunphy). When “The Big News” eventually gave way to regular hourlong news broadcasts at 5 and 6 p.m., Condon was often the introductory voice for these broadcasts; toward the end of his career, in the mid-1980s, his was almost the sole voice heard kicking off the KCBS News on any given night.

Born in Reno, he worked in San Francisco and Seattle before settling in Los Angeles. An AFTRA member since 1943, he also served in Armed Forces Radio.

Condon was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Mary Jane Condon.

He is survived by a daughter and a grandson.

 

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