Cubs open public address announcer opening to the public

Attention. Attention, please: After 16 years of working nights, days and weekends on both a full-time and part-time basis, Paul Friedman is stepping down as the voice of the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs made it official Monday when they announced that a search is on for the next public address announcer at Wrigley Field.

“It was completely my choice,” said Friedman, who lives in Evanston. “The Cubs were completely supportive. I think it was a surprise to them.”

Friedman, who recently began working at Chicago Public Media, decided a couple of weeks ago that it was simply time to switch off the microphone.

“It’s a good thing,” he said of his decision. “I had 16 tremendous years with the Cubs. John McDonough gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, but it was time to focus on my day-to-day job with CPM.”

Friedman, along with Wayne Messmer and Buffalo Grove’s Mike Terson divvied up the announcing duties for years before Friedman became the main voice of the team the past few seasons.

And now anyone interested in the job can submit their applications — including an audio or video sample — now through March 7 at Finalists will be selected for live auditions at Wrigley Field by March 14, and the team’s final selection will be hired by March 25.

According to the Cubs, although previous experience working as public address announcer is preferred, candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply for the position.

And those candidates for the job should:

• Possess strong vocal talent, skilled readership and a deep knowledge of baseball, as they’ll be responsible for enhancing the fan experience for every at-bat, inning and game throughout the season.

• Be comfortable announcing to sold-out crowds and proficient at enunciating complex player names.

• Be available for all Cubs home games, pre-game and non-game day special events.

Terson, who has been the voice of the Chicago Wolves for the past 12 seasons called his four years as P.A. announcer for the Cubs “one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had,” but doesn’t see the need to send in an audition tape.

“Since the Cubs went a different direction, they’ve still called me to fill in,” he said. “As far as I know, the relationship is still open … and good.”

Friedman, who hopes to continue his relationship with the Cubs and possibly do some backup P.A. announcing in the future, offered one piece of advice to his eventual successor:

“As in radio and TV,” he said, “when you’re saying something and it comes out wrong, just keep going forward.”

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