Morgan Freeman takes over as voice of ‘Evening News’

CBS News has announced that actor Morgan Freeman will replace Walter Cronkite as the announcer for “CBS Evening News.”

Cronkite died in July and, at the time, there were conflicting reports that CBS would cease using his voice immediately. However, Cronkite’s family eventually approved of the continued use of the recordings.

Freeman is no stranger to voiceover work; he’s well know for his work on many high profile documentaries and museum films.

With this change, CBS follows on the heels of NBC News in using a movie actor for its announcer. “NBC Nightly News” introduced Michael Douglas as its new voice Dec. 17, 2007.

This move toward high profile names on network news opens is interesting, especially considering neither Freeman or Douglas have the traditional booming voices one usually associates with news announcers. This isn’t to say their voices are bad; both have unique, highly recognizable sounds.

This trend is hardly new, however. Perhaps most famous is CNN’s use of James Earl Jones’ dramatic “This is CNN” (though Jones certainly has a voice that’s more in line with other news announcers).

It’s also worth nothing that ABC News has been using Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs,” as its voice since Diane Sawyer took over Dec. 21.