Monday, June 4, 2012

My news hero

Last week marked the end of an era in Portland. Mike Donahue, who was my college professor and colleague, has retired from TV news, a career he started in 1968 on KOIN-TV.

Mike is truly an exceptional person and news man. His kindness, integrity, work ethic and humbleness are really unmatched.

He was honored during the evening news on his last day, May 31:
Knowing Mike personally, I am sure he was quite embarrassed by all the attention. Still, always the professional, he handled it beautifully!
I majored in Communications/Video Production at George Fox University and my senior year took a journalism class taught by the famous Mike Donahue, an adjunct professor. Growing up watching Mike on KOIN, I was truly honored to learn from him.

Little did I know that a couple months later I would be working side by side in the KOIN-TV newsroom with the legend himself. We worked together for nine years before my retirement from the industry.
Mike was always incredibly helpful, encouraging and respectful, even to a 21-year-old newbie like myself. He always spoke kind words, even when speaking firmly and standing up to some less-than-appropriate story ideas or suggestions from management. Even in frustration, Mike was a gentleman.

His stories were masterful. I remember many of them fondly and mourn the days when TV journalism was something to be proud of - a tremendously important service to the community - instead of a big-business money maker.

Besides all that, I also have great memories of the beautiful roses he brought from home and his wife's egg casserole dish he shared with us. YUM! I still have the recipe.

I will really miss seeing Mike on TV. But I'm so proud of (and in awe of!) his accomplishment and happy that he's entering the next adventure of his life.

Congrats, friend! :)

KOIN compiled some of Mike's stories over the years. Click HERE to view the clips.
Click HERE to read Mike's retirement announcement.


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