Monday, August 03, 2009

Dan Coughlin Throws Own Retirement Party

Our apologies to OMW reader Ted Lux, the Cleveland radio veteran, for hanging onto this for so long.

It's a nice "inside" story on the send-off for now-former Local TV Fox affiliate WJW/8 sports reporter and anchor Dan Coughlin, a name instantly familiar to legions of Cleveland sports fans from both his days on Channel 8, but also from his long run at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Coughlin recently accepted a WJW buyout offer, and headed into retirement with his own lively party last month...which Ted describes below...

-----------

Dan Coughlin Throws His Own Retirement Party
By Ted Lux, Special to Ohio Media Watch

It was a laugh a minute at the Beach Cliff Tavern in Rocky River on Sunday (July 19th), as Dan Coughlin arranged - and hosted - his own retirement party.

He brought the hot dogs, pasta, chicken, pizza and homemade brownies. The only thing he didn't bring were copious amounts of Miller Lite which the Tavern served up.

When it was retirement gift time, Dan's sons carried a large cardboard box to the stage almost like it were the Ark of the Covenant. It was disguised to look like a Dell computer, causing Dan to grow queasy because of his well-documented distaste for computers - versus the traditional newsroom Royal typewriter. But he flashed that well-known Irish grin when he discovered the box was laden with 12 packs of Miller Lite.

Channel 8 staffers prepared a nine-minute video of plenty of classic Coughlin outtakes, which brought down the house. Danny himself took the mic, and did his unique shtick.

Tom Bush, the man who played Jimmy Carter on Hoolihan and Big Chuck years ago, portrayed Bob Feller doing a standup tribute to Dan. Various MC's floated on and off the stage including John Telich, Lou Maglio and Gary Stromberg.

It was a Channel 8 love fest with all sorts of familiar faces there...including Dick Goddard, and some from the recent past like Tim Taylor, Loree Vick and Christy Steeves. Marty Savidge even flew in from Hotlanta. Also present was Dick Zunt, who worked the high school sports desk in the 60s at the Plain Dealer with Dan.

And the place went nuts when Mickey Flanagan walked in. Mickey isn't a household name, but was a long-time beloved assignment desk editor in the TV 8 newsroom.

And everyone there knew that just like Walter Cronkite, there will never again be the equal of Danny Coughlin on TV in Cleveland.

7 comments:

Tim Lones said...

Ted:(And OMW)
Great Story! Dan is one of the last of the old-time Cleveland Sports Writers/Broadcasters around..I can see him throwing his own retirement bash..Wish I could have been there..Though you all can have the Miller Lite..LOL

Sportsboytony said...

I have so many Coughlin stories, and I only interned for him for one summer. In that amount of time, I went and fetched him pants for a liveshot, I reminded him during the football show which game he had been to (I guess they all run together after all those years), and I read his e-mail for him b/c there was no way he was that web savvy at the time.

The guy was awesome and was great to be around. A true pro!

derek said...

"Former" local Fox affiliate?

andrew727 said...

Personal Message To Ted Lux...
Just wanted to say 'hi' Ted! I was the young guy at Lincoln-West High School whom you gave your thoughts to where it concerned dealing with a live audience back in 1971-1972 during the 'Up With People' tour. Just wanted to say 'thanks' through all these decades. I did make it in radio news, and yes, miss the day-to-day action of it. I'm still in the media, but now a writer and webmaster at MALL727.net. However, you are one of those great memories!-)
- Andrew Boggs,BA, MALL727.net -

Chuck Matthews Blog said...

Proud to say that Dan and I are related, via marriage of his cousin to my aunt. Great guy and "One Of Cleveland's Own"

YEKIMI said...

One of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet. Came to my old high school to do a story on one of the athletes and I was up there getting schedules for games when he came up and to me and just started talking away about our wall of fame and championship banners like we were the best of friends.

Eugene said...

If you want to keep up with what Dan Coughlin is doing you should check out the blog that he has launched at coughlinunplugged.com