Local News Anchor To Serve As New Voice of Lambeau Field

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The Packers have hired Bill Jartz, a recognized local news figure and a northeastern Wisconsin native, as their public address announcer starting with the 2005 season.

"It's a dream job," he said. "When it comes to football venues, [Lambeau Field] is the gold standard, and to be the so-called voice of that stadium is very much an honor."

Jartz anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts on WBAY-TV and previously performed play-by-play duties for preseason Green Bay Packers football games.

He said he will announce the games in a manner befitting the Packers' historic stadium.

"I don't know if I'm going to be really flashy or anything," he said. "They just want a pretty straight-laced show."

However, he will make the game fun for fans, changing his inflection at the appropriate time, including before the start of games.

"In the starting lineups you can have a little fun with it. The thing is you have 70,000 people backing you up, and they're pretty excited about the whole deal as well," he said. "I will show some enthusiasm when I can and make them enjoy Lambeau Field."

Jartz has extensive experience covering the Packers and other sports teams, making him a natural choice for the position. He hosted "Monday Night Kick-Off," a lead-in show to Monday Night Football, which featured Packers such as John Jurkovic, Eugene Robinson and Santana Dotson from 1993 to 1998. He served as WBAY sports director from 1985 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1998. Before joining WBAY, he anchored the 10 o'clock sports at WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wis. from 1980 to 1983.

"I know what to look for," he said.

The new P.A. announcer can also reflect on a wealth of football knowledge. He played guard at Northwestern University from 1977 to 1980 and has always loved the sport.

Growing up, he would spend Sundays watching Packers games and throwing the football around between breaks in the telecast.

"You don't grow up around here without being a Packers fan," the Clintonville, Wis. native said.

Jartz will continue his role as news anchor at Channel 2 News. The station has agreed to let him take time off on gamedays, preventing a conflict between his television work and new job as P.A. announcer, where he replaces Gary Knafelc, who retired after 40 years.

Jartz was reached by phone an hour an after his hiring, and his voice still resonated with excitement.

"I'm a very lucky person to get the chance," he said. "If you have any kind of football pedigree at all, you know you're in a special place."

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