Voice of Tabernacle Choir’s ‘Music and the Spoken Word’ will be leaving for an LDS mission

Lloyd D. Newell has been the writer and host of the record-breaking radio broadcast for 34 years.

After being on the air for decades, the announcer for The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s record-breaking weekly radio broadcast “Music and the Spoken Word” announced Sunday he’s leaving to serve as a mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lloyd D. Newell, who has been the voice and writer for the program since 1990, announced before Sunday’s show that he will be departing to preside over a mission with his wife, Karmel.

“I cannot express what an honor it has been to serve the past 34 years,” Newell said in a news release. “...Our call will allow Karmel and me to welcome a new service opportunity.”

The location of the couple’s missionary calling hasn’t been announced, but it will start in July 2024. Newell will continue to work with the Utah-based faith’s most prominent performing troupe until they leave, according to the release. Most mission leaders serve for a period of three years.

Newell is one of only three people who have served as the principal announcer for “Music and the Spoken Word” in its nearly century-old history. Beginning in 1930, Richard L. Evans, who would become a Latter-day Saint apostle, was the program’s first regular host. After Evans’ death in 1971, he was succeeded by J. Spencer Kinard followed by Newell.

“We are delighted for Lloyd and Karmel, yet we understand the challenge associated with replacing this icon in inspirational broadcasting,” choir President Mike Leavitt, a former Utah governor, said in the release. “Lloyd is trusted and admired by millions who have become accustomed to his soothing voice and wisdom on Sunday mornings.”

“Music and the Spoken Word” is the world’s longest continuous radio network broadcast.