He thanks his father for passing along his voice, and says that he first started "announcing" in class as early as the 5thgrade, saying out loud, for no apparent reason, "Welcome K-Mart Shoppers! Today's blue light special is..." He may have annoyed a teacher or two, but his talent was recognized and he was encouraged to take part in school plays. He was also asked to read the lunch menu and make other announcements over the school's PA system. Joe enjoyed speech in High School and in College studied public speaking.
While in college he took a part time job at a radio station where he voiced his first commercial. "It was a spot for the new 1981 Yamaha Virago 750. I found out what time it was supposed to play and made sure I was in front of a radio to hear it." Joe spent 6 years in the Navy and, although he was an Interior Communications Electrician, was often asked to prepare and voice newscasts that would be broadcast ship-wide while deployed overseas. After an honorable discharge he moved to Los Angeles. He worked at K-Earth 101FM, KNX-1070 News Radio, and 710-Talk KMPC as a news writer and anchor.
While working at KNX, Joe was contacted by an advertising agency asking if he would like to do voice-overs for one of their clients. He jumped at the opportunity, and after a 15 minute audition, he became the radio and T.V. voice of Universal Studios Hollywood and Florida. He held this position for nearly 5 years, and because of it got to rub shoulders with his idol, Don LaFontaine, the gold standard of movie trailer announcers.
During many recording sessions Joe would cross paths with LaFontaine at a Hollywood recording studio. "Once I got to meet him. He had walked into the control booth during one of my sessions and could hear me doing a spot for Universal. When I came out of the recording booth he shook my hand and said ‘Nice Job.’ I was thrilled. It was like Babe Ruth shaking the hand of a little leaguer.”
Joe began voicing for Audio Marketing Systems in California, in 1994, right after the Northridge Earthquake. Audio Marketing Systems merged with what is now Spectrio in 2007, where Joe quickly became one of our most popular voice talents. He says that the best thing about working for Spectrio “is the variety of challenges I'm presented with each day. Plus it's cool when somebody calls me up and says... ‘Hey. I just heard you on hold when I called to order a Pizza.’”
Regardless of your industry, Joe Westerberg can provide the personal touch you’re looking for, so be sure to request him for your next production. Listen to his demo here!