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StarDate’s Sandy Wood to Retire

StarDate’s Sandy Wood to Retire

Sandy Wood, the popular and charismatic announcer of the StarDate radio program, is retiring after 28 years on the air. Her final episode will air July 16.

Sandy Wood has been the voice of the StarDate radio program for 28 years.

StarDate is the longest running nationally syndicated science program on American radio. Produced by The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory, the program began in 1978. It brings a daily two-minute message of astronomy and skywatching to 2.3 million weekly listeners via more than 300 stations across the country. Wood took over from original announcer Joel Block after the program's first dozen years.

"Since 1991 I've been with you every day, telling you about the wonders of the universe," she says at the end of the July 16 episode. "Recent health problems, though, have left me unable to continue, so this is my final episode. My thanks for all of the support from our StarDate audience — the best in the universe!"

StarDate producer Damond Benningfield has worked with Wood since her original audition. "This really breaks my heart," Benningfield says. "Not only is she an amazing announcer, she's one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I've ever known. She's also a hoot, so our recording sessions are probably going to be a lot duller without her."

Wood's first broadcast aired September 16, 1991, and she recorded a total of 10,166 episodes. She also recorded several podcasts for McDonald Observatory projects, and she narrated videos that play at the observatory's Frank N. Bash Visitors Center and other venues at the Fort Davis campus, as well as on various web sites.

"I very much appreciate Sandy Wood's dedicated service to McDonald Observatory. Her enthusiastic and consistent delivery of astronomy news for StarDate has built a large and committed audience of astronomy enthusiasts," said McDonald Director Taft Armandroff. "As I travel the country and speak with fans of astronomy and The University of Texas, there are always questions and good wishes for Sandy Wood and StarDate."

Wood has been a broadcaster since the 1960s, serving as a radio DJ and talk-show host, and voicing programs and commercials for local, regional, and national clients, including NASA.

The StarDate radio program will continue with a new announcer. The producers expect to introduce the new host of StarDate in the coming weeks.

— END —

Note to editors: An image of Sandy Wood, along with this text, is available online:

https://mcdonaldobservatory.org/news/releases/20190701

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Comments 9

 
Guest - Jeff Baer on Monday, 15 July 2019 16:15

Please extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Ms. Wood as she retires. I have been an avid listener of the StarDate program for more years than I can remember, more than a decade if my memory servers me correctly, often adjusting my commute to be sure I caught the daily installation on WHYY in Philadelphia. I often recounted what I had heard to others, including both adults and the Scouts in my Troop, and frequently used the information to enhance our monthly camping experience via sky watching activities. I hope Ms. Wood is able to combat and remedy her "health issues," enabling her to many more quiet nights of sky watching bliss. All the best!

Please extend my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Ms. Wood as she retires. I have been an avid listener of the StarDate program for more years than I can remember, more than a decade if my memory servers me correctly, often adjusting my commute to be sure I caught the daily installation on WHYY in Philadelphia. I often recounted what I had heard to others, including both adults and the Scouts in my Troop, and frequently used the information to enhance our monthly camping experience via sky watching activities. I hope Ms. Wood is able to combat and remedy her "health issues," enabling her to many more quiet nights of sky watching bliss. All the best!
Guest - Carrie C. on Tuesday, 16 July 2019 06:05

I will miss your lovely voice every morning on my way to work for my favorite program. Best wishes to you for the future!!

I will miss your lovely voice every morning on my way to work for my favorite program. Best wishes to you for the future!!
Guest - Harry Leonard on Tuesday, 16 July 2019 09:37

I will miss Ms. Wood's voice educating me about the stars. Whenever I hear your voice in the morning I stop what I am doing and try to pay attention. As I did this morning about your retirement. I hope for best health to you and best wishes to you in your retirement. The stars will not be the same, smile.

I will miss Ms. Wood's voice educating me about the stars. Whenever I hear your voice in the morning I stop what I am doing and try to pay attention. As I did this morning about your retirement. I hope for best health to you and best wishes to you in your retirement. The stars will not be the same, smile.
Guest - Mika on Tuesday, 16 July 2019 11:57

I just listened the last broadcast... i didn't know it was her last day! I truly enjoyed the program and her voice. I surly will miss her on my way to work. Thank you ms. Sandy Wood for educating me about the stars for all those years.

I just listened the last broadcast... i didn't know it was her last day! I truly enjoyed the program and her voice. I surly will miss her on my way to work. Thank you ms. Sandy Wood for educating me about the stars for all those years.
Guest - chip on Tuesday, 16 July 2019 17:25

I have been a loyal listener of Sandy's for many years and was shocked to hear of her retirement. I wish her the best and lift up prayers as she contends with her health issues. Thank you, Sandy, for brightening the days with cheerful and informative broadcasts.

I have been a loyal listener of Sandy's for many years and was shocked to hear of her retirement. I wish her the best and lift up prayers as she contends with her health issues. Thank you, Sandy, for brightening the days with cheerful and informative broadcasts.
Guest - Susan Trishel Monson on Friday, 19 July 2019 12:36

Sandy Wood is VO icon, imitable and a Vega in the star infirmary of talent .... #GOAT (greatest of all time) bless you, you are missed!

Sandy Wood is VO icon, imitable and a Vega in the star infirmary of talent .... #GOAT (greatest of all time) bless you, you are missed!
Guest - Jeremy on Thursday, 25 July 2019 21:44

I can only echo what others have said. Sandy, thank you. You brought the heavens to us daily. Your voice has been a gift that I perhaps took for granted, like light from the stars.

I can only echo what others have said. Sandy, thank you. You brought the heavens to us daily. Your voice has been a gift that I perhaps took for granted, like light from the stars.
Guest - Kathy on Tuesday, 06 August 2019 19:25

I have listened to Sandy ever since she started narrating the StarDate program. My whole family knows to stop talking and to listen to her wonderful voice during dinner each night. Sandy has the most lucid, beautiful voice on radio, without a doubt in my mind. I heard a re-broadcast of her tonight and my heart felt so much happier to hear her once more. She makes science so very enjoyable and has inspired us so much. We hope the best of health to her and are so sad to see her leave the airwaves.

I have listened to Sandy ever since she started narrating the StarDate program. My whole family knows to stop talking and to listen to her wonderful voice during dinner each night. Sandy has the most lucid, beautiful voice on radio, without a doubt in my mind. I heard a re-broadcast of her tonight and my heart felt so much happier to hear her once more. She makes science so very enjoyable and has inspired us so much. We hope the best of health to her and are so sad to see her leave the airwaves.
Guest - Steve on Thursday, 15 August 2019 14:07

I will miss Sandy Wood and am sorry that the era of lumber based hosts (Block & Wood) has come to an end.

Thank you, Ms. Wood, for so many years of edutaining us!

I will miss Sandy Wood and am sorry that the era of lumber based hosts (Block & Wood) has come to an end. Thank you, Ms. Wood, for so many years of edutaining us!
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