Channel 11 Sports' Alby Oxenreiter shares memories of Sam Nover, former director

Sam Nover, longtime WPXI Sports director, dies at 77

PITTSBURGH — With an uncommon confidence, a deep knowledge of sports, and a booming voice that could take over any room, Sam Nover made his mark like few others in local broadcasting.

For the better part of 30 years, Nover was at the center of Pittsburgh television sports.

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While reporting on championship seasons for each of the city’s three professional teams, Nover became part of the fabric of Pittsburgh as our city transformed into the “City of Champions.”

He was never without an opinion, and always passionate.

Nover loved the local teams, and never grew tired of talking about them.

As a young sports fan growing up in Pittsburgh, Nover was the first television sportscaster I can remember watching, and with his intensity and rapid-fire delivery, he made it fun to watch.

By the late 1980s, Nover had become a fixture in Pittsburgh, and as I started my career here, I took the opportunity to introduce myself.

After a short conversation in the Steelers offices at Three Rivers Stadium, Nover gave me an early seal of approval and told me he was confident I’d “work out well in this town.”


In the years that followed, there were conversations on the road, sometimes advice in the press box, and always lots of laughs.

I talked to Sam often since his retirement. Sometimes, it was a phone call or sometimes a quick exchange of texts.

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When Channel 11 broke ground on our new building, Sam returned again, and was back with the WPXI sports department, past and present.

He honored us by posing for a picture. John, Rich, Bill, Alby. We all surrounded Sam, who appropriately, was at the center.