Roy Rowan, dead at 78

Lucille Ball's announcer for two decades

Roy Rowan, a longtime radio and TV broadcaster best known as Lucille Ball’s announcer for more than two decades, died Sunday of heart failure at his home in Encino. He was 78.

After many years on staff at CBS Radio, Rowan left to freelance for CBS Television, beginning with Ball’s shows. He was the announcer and warm-up man for “I Love Lucy” (1951-57) and “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” (1957-60).

After “I Love Lucy” ran its course of 179 shows, Rowan worked for Ball on 156 episodes of “The Lucy Show” (1962-68) and 144 segments of “Here’s Lucy” (1968-74).

Rowan eventually became part-owner of radio stations in Las Vegas, Stockton and San Jose. In 1968 he joined the media brokerage firm Blackburn & Co. and headed its Beverly Hills office for 22 years, handling the sales of TV stations and hundreds of radio stations.

When Blackburn closed its West Coast offices, Rowan formed Rowan Media Brokers in Encino. He retired last year.

Rowan, a Michigan native, got his start with numerous radio stations in New York before moving to Hollywood and joining CBS Radio to work on programs ranging from news to music and game shows.

He is survived by his wife, Marilyn (Criss), and two daughters.

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