Meet your kings in-arena personalities
PUBLIC ADDRESS ANNOUNCER
David Courtney is in his 22nd season as the Public Address Announcer for the Kings and 33rd season overall working for the club in 2010-11.
Born in New York City, Courtney and family moved to Los Angeles 1963 when his father, Alan, a network television executive, became President of MGM Television.
He saw his first Kings game in 1968 on a school recreational group outing and fell in love with the sport and the Kings. At first, he wanted to be “one of the guys in the cool NHL blazers (off-ice officials),” and wrote then-NHL President Clarence S. Campbell to offer his services. Mr. Campbell's office encouraged him to follow a path through the team and in 1971, at age 14, he was given a job as a “go-fer” in the Kings' Public Relations Department.
Over the next seven years, he did just about everything but coach or play for the Kings: assisting in the press box, working the locker room and filling-in as a stick boy, running the scoreboard, writing press releases and coordinating player appearances, ticketing operations and even learned how to drive the Zamboni.
His favorite job though, was serving as the announcer for the youth hockey games that would precede Kings games. Under the guidance of legendary P.A. announcer, John Ramsay, and by doing games for his Beverly Hills High School varsity football and basketball teams, he learned the craft well enough to become Ramsay's back-up for both the Kings and the Lakers. Ironically, the first game he announced by himself professionally was for the then-rival Los Angeles Sharks of the World Hockey Association in 1973.
In 1978, at age 21, Courtney reluctantly left the Kings to take his first full-time job as P.R. Director for the Houston Aeros of the WHA in their last season before the club ceased operations. After the Aeros folded, he remained in Houston and began a successful broadcasting career in both radio and television and found himself in demand as a P.A. announcer; eventually handling the Houston Rockets, USFL Gamblers and sharing the Houston Astros.
But the Kings and hockey remained his first love. In 1985, friend and mentor, Bob Miller, alerted him to an opening and Courtney returned to the Kings as P.R. Director. After four years, a desire to explore broadcasting opportunities led Courtney to leave his full-time position but remain with the Kings as their P.A. Announcer beginning with the 1989-90 season.
Courtney has become a familiar voice to fans of other sports in Southern California. In addition to being the longest tenured announcer for the Kings, he has been the P.A. Announcer for the Angels baseball team (18 years) and was the announcer for the Rams the last three seasons before they moved to St. Louis. Courtney is now in his third season as the announcer of the Clippers, marking the second time he has been the voice of three major league teams at the same time.
He has the unique distinction of being the voice of two major sports All-Star Games (2002 NHL and 2010 MLB) and has announced at least one or more games for the Lakers, Dodgers, Raiders, USC football, UCLA basketball and the Pac-10 basketball tournament. His work as an announcer has also led to voice roles in the movies "Tooth Fairy," "Angels in the Outfield" and "61*" and television's "Home Improvement."
Since 1992, Courtney's full-time work has been with Metro Networks as a sports, traffic and news reporter, currently heard daily on 710 ESPN Radio in Los Angeles and KOLA 99.9 FM in the Inland Empire.
Courtney, 54, and his wife, Janet Fisher-Courtney, reside in Mission Viejo.
Ever wonder who's playing "GO KINGS GO!" on the organ? Or who the DJ is that's playing the music before the puck drops? Curious about who triggers the goal horn when the Kings score? It’s all done by Dieter Ruehle. He’s located above Section 317 at STAPLES Center.
The 2011-2012 season is Dieter's 16th with the Kings, and his 22nd consecutive NHL season. Ruehle’s first NHL season (and first Kings season) was in 1989-1990.
A native of Los Angeles, Ruehle began his music training at the age of nine by taking classical piano lessons. By the age of 15, Ruehle got his first gig as organist at The Forum when he was hired by the Los Angeles Lazers of the Major Indoor Soccer League for the 1984-’85 season. After five years of working Lazers games (on the Hammond X-66 organ) Ruehle, then 20 years old, was hired in the summer of 1989 to be the Kings organist.
After 3 seasons with the Kings (and working other events at The Forum such as Team Tennis, Volleyball and the Great Western Freeze-out annual college hockey tournament), Dieter moved to the Bay Area in 1992 and was hired by the San Jose Sharks. For five seasons, Ruehle was the organist for the Sharks (’92-’93 thru ’96-’97). Then he worked the ’97-’98 season for the Phoenix Coyotes. After 6 years away, Ruehle returned to Los Angeles and the Kings for the 1998-’99 season, which was the Kings final season at The Forum. After the opening of STAPLES Center, Ruehle was hired by the Los Angeles Lakers, Sparks (WNBA) and Avengers (AFL). He’s also worked boxing and tennis events at STAPLES Center. Ruehle’s currently in his 11th season with the Lakers.
Dieter's work with the Kings and Lakers has led to other opportunities outside of STAPLES Center. He’s worked at four Olympics (three Winter Olympics and one Summer Olympics). He was Music Director for Basketball at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. He worked as Music Director for Ice Hockey at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, 2006 Torino Winter Olympics and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. His Olympic experience in Vancouver included playing the organ and recorded music at the classic Men’s Gold Medal game featuring USA vs. Canada.
Ruehle’s also performed at four NBA All-Star Games and two NHL All-Star games. He worked NBA All-Star games in 2004 (LA), 2005 (Denver), 2007 (Las Vegas) and 2011(LA). He also worked two NHL All-Star games, in 1997 (San Jose) and 2002 (LA). He’s also worked several NBA events in Europe and Asia, including Lakers pre-season games in London and Barcelona in October 2010.
Dieter’s been the Music Director at the US Open Tennis Championships in New York since 2006, where he runs all of the music at Ashe Stadium during this prestigious summer event.
Dieter also performed the organ music on the popular EA Sports video games NHL ‘94, NHL ‘95, and NHL ’96.
You've seen this guy give away front row seats to lucky fans in the 300 Level and then only minutes later he's in the Zamboni Tunnel telling the fans at Staples Center what to expect on the ice during intermission. Hey it's that guy, Jay Flats!
This is Jay's 3rd season with the team and 2nd year as the In-Arena and Live Event Host for The LA KINGS. 2011 is also marks his 10th year living and working in Los Angeles!
His sports backround began when he traveled as an announcer for the world famous HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS and upon his return to LA he wanted to continue mixing sports and entertainment. Shortly after his return from touring he auditioned for the Kings Ice Crew in 2008 and became a member. Jay has been hosting home games at Staples Center and Kings events all over Los Angeles including the extremely popular 'Watch Parties' where Kings fans can interact with Bailey, the Kings Ice Crew and Kings Players, Alumni and staff.
When he's not rewarding rowdy Kings fans with prizes you can see Jay performing stand-up comedy all over Los Angeles and working as an audience warm-up comedian for TV shows like 'American Idol' and 'So You Think You Can Dance', 'Minute To Win It' and more . During the summer Jay works as a Studio Tour Guide at Universal Studios Hollywood and a stilt walker for special events in the theme park throughout the year.
He has also been a sports PA Announcer for almost every major sport...even a Harry Potter style Quiddich match featuring Bailey and his NHL Mascot Buddies against The USC Quiddich Team.
If you see him...say "what up Jay Flats?"