Unexpected death shocks Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers radio


Long time local radio engineer who worked Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers games over a more than 30-year career, died Sunday at 56.

Jonah Javad

Messages of shock and sadness flooded social media in the wake of the news that long time local sports radio engineer Ted Nichols-Payne died Sunday.

Nichols-Payne, 56, collapsed in the Globe Life Field parking lot before Sunday’s game, according to the Associated Press. He later died at a hospital.

He had worked Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers broadcasts for more than 30 years, first at KRLD-AM and then 105.3 “The Fan.”

“Ted Nichols-Payne has been a fixture in the Texas Rangers home radio booth for most of the last 30 years,” the Rangers said in a release. “Ted’s dedication and attention to detail made him an expert engineer who provided an outstanding technical quality to our broadcasts. All of us with the Rangers’ organization send our deepest sympathies to Ted’s family. He will certainly be missed.”

Rangers radio play-by-play voice Eric Nadel said “we are all devastated.”

“Ted was a great friend and a kind, compassionate and caring person,” Nadel posted on social media. “He so adored his three daughters. Can’t imagine what it will be like for all of us without him. RIP Ted.”

The Cowboys radio team, including play-by-play voice Brad Sham, analyst Babe Laufenberg and sideline reporter Kristi Scales each offered memories and condolences on Twitter.

“When people work together for decades, they are family,” Sham posted in a Twitter message. “We lost a family member today. The BELOVED engineer of @dallascowboys and @rangers radio broadcasts, Ted Nichols-Payne, died suddenly at 56. We are speechless. Perfect at his job. Better human. Gutted.”

Nichols-Payne was the primary engineer and technical director on Rangers’ radio broadcasts from 1995-2010, first on KRLD-AM and then on 105.3-FM “The FAN.” He resumed that role when the Rangers’ English radio rights returned to 105.3 in 2015.

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.

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