(WKBN) – 27 First News is saying farewell to morning anchor Dan Martin, who is leaving the station after almost 13 years.
Morning anchor Chelsea Spears and meteorologist Alex George spent some time digging up old video clips, taking a trip down memory lane for Dan’s farewell.
“Every day for the past three years, I’ve started my mornings with Dan just like people at home,” Chelsea said. “We just jived from the start… He makes me laugh, he answers my questions, he’s become like an older brother to me.”
“One of my favorite things about Dan is his laugh and if you’ve ever heard it, you know it lights up the entire room,” Alex said. “Dan is also so hard working. When I come in, I know he’s been working hard and is ready to go. He’s a great motivator because when you wake up at 2:30 a.m., you need that extra push and Dan is always there to cheer us on and get us ready for the morning.”
During his 13 years with the station, Dan has told many stories. He started in the field as a video journalist where he did some great, impactful work.
He won first place in the 2013 Ohio Associated Pressed Broadcast Awards Contest for “Best Investigative Reporting” after investigating blatant violations of Ohio’s smoking ban in area bars and restaurants.
In recent years, Dan has spent most of his time on the anchor desk for First News this morning, but he still went out into the field for some big stories. Check out a highlight of some of those stories in the video below.
Dan also went viral while working from home, thanks to Duke the Cat. Duke got quite the following on TV and social media for simply taking a bath like no one was watching.
Dan said Duke has been staying at his best friend’s apartment during the moving process, which is why he hasn’t made a TV appearance in a while.
He said Duke misses everyone and his spotlight on the news.
“He appreciates all the love and support that you guys have been giving him on Facebook and liking all his pictures, and we’re going to all be back together in the same place very soon,” Dan said.
“One of the funniest things about the whole Duke situation is, if you know Duke the Cat… he’s very shy and it takes him a while to warm up to people and groups of people and new people, which is why if he had any idea how many people had seen him or knew about him or were watching him, he would probably run away and hide,” Dan continued.
Aside from journalism, music has played a key role in Dan’s life in Youngstown. His bandmates also wanted to share a few words.
“It’s been so fun getting a chance during this quarantine session to play music with you as well, and all the other guys will echo the same thing, but we’re so proud of you and everything that you’ve done. You’re a great guy, you’re a great dad, you’re a great husband, you’re excellent at your job and from our standpoint, you’re at least an above-average guitar player, a phenomenal singer and a phenomenal friend. The city of Youngstown will miss you,” said bandmate Craig Smylie.
“I know I’ll miss some of the family that I met from your WKBN family. They’re great people and I’ve had the privilege of getting to know them through music that we’ve made together in the area, and I know that we’ll still see each other and we’ll still be playing music and we’ll still get our families together, but I know you’ll be missed back in Youngstown,” said bandmate Brian Adams.
“He works so hard at everything he’s doing and I’ve been impressed with you ever since Craig and I lived with you in college and we met in high school. Really looking forward to seeing what you do next and continuing to play our socially distanced covers and maybe even some original songs over the internet. Yeah, I wish you nothing but the best,” said bandmate Justin Barasky.
“You’re a good friend, a good guy and you’re gonna do well in Columbus and I know who Youngstown is going to miss–you and Duke,” said bandmate Rick Diluciano.
Please join us in wishing the best of luck to Dan in the next chapter of his career.