Mike Donahue to Retire After 42 Years at KOIN

By Merrill Knox 

KOIN anchor Mike Donahue will retire in May after 42 years at the Portland CBS-affiliate.

Donahue, who anchors the noon newscast, has spent his entire career at KOIN. In a letter announcing his retirement, he said he will use his retirement “to improve my health and enjoy more time with my family.”

“It’s the people, though, that I will miss most — the many colleagues I’ve worked with over the years who made this job fun — and the captivating people in the stories I’ve told with pictures, words and sounds,” Donahue wrote. “I’ll always be a story teller and a news junkie.”

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Mike Donahue announces retirement

Updated: 3/22 2:02 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. — Mike Donahue, one of the most familiar and beloved faces on KOIN LOCAL 6 (CBS), announced today that he plans to retire May 31, 2012.

The award-winning journalist and noon anchor for the CBS affiliate says the decision to retire was one of the most difficult of his life, but now “is the time to open the first chapter of a new book.”

Mr. Donahue has spent nearly 42 years at KOIN-TV.  He first appeared on the CBS affiliate in 1968 and spent his entire career at the same television station as a reporter and anchor, a feat rarely accomplished in the often volatile field of broadcast journalism.  Mr. Donahue will share the news with viewers during the KOIN LOCAL 6 News @ Noon broadcast today.

KOIN LOCAL 6 President and General Manager Tim Perry said Mr. Donahue’s contributions to the station are beyond words and he will be greatly missed by his KOIN family and viewers.

“It is difficult to imagine KOIN-TV without Mike Donahue,” said Mr. Perry.  “Mike’s contributions and career long devotion to KOIN and Portland will only be succeeded never replaced.  He is not only a role model journalist, but also a rare and wonderful person.  His departure from KOIN will be deeply felt by his admiring colleagues and our community.  We are happy that he is pursuing new chapters in an impressive life that continues to enrich us all.”

Mr. Donahue chose to share his decision to retire in a letter he wrote to colleagues and fans that is posted below.  The words are moving and befitting of the cherished journalist’s personal style, a trait that made him a local favorite on the air for over four decades in Portland.  He says he will miss the excitement and people, but looks forward to the change of pace.

KOIN LOCAL 6 plans to highlight the outstanding career of Mr. Donahue throughout the month of May.  Beginning April 24 (Mr. Donahue’s birthday) viewers can visit www.koinlocal6.com to relive the stories and share the joy of his incredible career at KOIN-TV.


Dear KOIN LOCAL 6 fans and colleagues,

Ending a rewarding career after more than 40 years leaves me still wanting more. Like reaching the end of a good book or movie, you don’t want to close the cover or leave the theatre. But, I must. It’s time to retire.

When I reach my birthday in April, I will be full retirement age in the eyes of Social Security. I’m no longer the young reporter who joined KOIN-TV in 1968 at the age of 22. While the ever-changing demands of this profession make it exciting every day, they also ask more of a person. The amazing tools we now have that allow us to cover stories, live around the world and from outer space can, at times, be frustrating to use.

I’m not complaining. I’m very grateful. This long career – covering what many call the “golden years of TV news” – has been a thrilling ride. KOIN-TV has sent me to Europe, Asia and Africa in pursuit of stories. I helped expose the Rajneeshies, searched for D.B. Cooper and chased the New Carissa up the coast.  The eruption of Mt. St. Helens was the biggest local news story of my career. It was breathtaking! I’ll never forget following President Carter’s helicopter over the moonscape left behind by the enormous explosion. Every time I see the cascades I am awed and humbled.

It’s the people, though, that I will miss most – the many colleagues I’ve worked with over the years who made this job fun – and the captivating people in the stories I’ve told with pictures, words and sounds. I’ll always be a story teller and a news junkie. Even today, I can’t resist opening that urgent line at the top of my computer to read the latest news from somewhere.