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StarDate's Sandy Wood to retire; Billy Henry to take helm

Photos of StarDate's Sandy Wood and Billy Henry

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

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 bringing 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!”

Wood’s first broadcast aired September 16, 1991, and she recorded a total of 10,166 episodes. She 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.

Voice talent Billy Henry will be taking over for Sandy Wood beginning July 17.  Billy is no stranger to public radio, serving as the voice for Brain Stories and going on to record hundreds of voiceovers for TV, radio and film. He is also a composer, musician, teacher, sound designer, and “maker of things,” including musical instruments.

Billy Henry says hello to StarDate audience.

“While I might not be able to stick it out for 28 years like Sandy did, I’m looking forward to telling you about the universe for a long time to come,” Henry said.