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.