CLASS OF 1990
A valuable addition to WOW’s announcing staff came in 1945. Merrill Workhoven joined WOW after stints at KSCJ Sioux City, KSOO Sioux Falls. He had also spent a few years in Hollywood doing short films. Some speculate that it was Merrill who encouraged young co-worker Johnny Carson to quit and move to Los Angeles.
As chief announcer at WOW, Workhoven was thrust into television when WOW TV signed on in 1949. It was a new and vastly different medium and the hours were long. He announced from 5 a.m to noon on WOW radio, then from 6 p.m. to midnight on WOW TV.
During the 1960s Workhoven worked with WOW Sports Director Tip Saggau in the announcers’ booth, responsible for doing color and the commercials for Nebraska Cornhusker games.
For over 30 years, the Midwest heard that deep resonant voice, so distinctively concluding each newscast with “My time is up. Thank you for yours.”
His daughter Melanie followed in his footsteps, becoming a stage performer and doing radio work at KOIL in the 1970s and later at KQV Pittsburgh and WHO Des Moines.
One summer in the 1970s he drove to Los Angeles to visit Melanie and long-time friend Johnny Carson. His car broke down twice on the way out. When Carson learned of this, he gifted a new car to Merrill for the return trip. Workhoven retired from WOW in 1975 and kept the car for years afterward.
Merrill Workhoven passed away on March 8, 1994.