Posted 7:00 PM 2/6/2012 : News 5 staff remembers Lee Douglas
We are coping with a profound loss at News 5 as we remember our dear friend and colleague Lee Douglas. Lee was our Sports Director, a fixture at News 5 for for decades, but to all of us he was also family. Lee passed away suddenly over the weekend from kidney failure.
His deep gravelly voice commanded our attention every night in our living rooms. Lee loved sports and he loved what he did. Now his empty desk is a symbol of the void he's left in our hearts.
"I just kept saying, no no no. I just saw him," said Georgiann Lymberopoulos, former News 5 anchor.
"Just one of the most amazing people in my life," said Craig Eliot, News 5 Meteorologist. "And now that he's gone," he added.
Lee started started at KOAA in 1979. Over the years his personality and passion for sports struck a chord with viewers. "Who you saw on air, the desk is who you saw in real life, it was the same loveable Lee," said Lymberopoulos.
"You just looked at him and thought man that guy is not supposed to be wearing a suit and tie, but he knows his sports," said Eliot.
He had a distinctive laugh that was infectious. Many of us were often drawn to the sports department to shoot the breeze with Lee after a show. We'd talk football, sports or just about life.
"He also was a student of storytelling. He knew what to put in and he knew what to leave out. That combined with his enthusiasm for sports made for a great sportscast," said Greg Boyce, News 5 Content Manager.
Lee was an award-winning broadcaster who interviewed some of the greatest athletes. Yet, he was a humble, genuine good guy. Just ask Boyce--he and Lee go way back. "We knew each other for 50 years and I cannot recall a word spoken between us in anger and that's not a testimony to how nice I am, that's a testimony to how nice he is," said Boyce.
We dug into our archives to find our favorite clips including Lee like you've never seen him before. "Here's Lee Douglas in 1970. Who did you hair back then?" says Boyce in the clip. "The original glasses, oh you have them still," says Boyce. "I have my original glasses, Buddy Holly lives, that's right, he's always been my hero," said Lee.
As we say goodbye we'll cherish these memories. "No one will ever, take his place, there's never going to be another Lee Douglas," said Eliot.
"You know he was your friend, your family member and I miss him," said Lymberopoulos.
Lee was 57.
A funeral will be held for Lee this Friday at 2 p.m. It is at Praise Assembly of God, located at 2000 Troy Ave., in Pueblo.
Posted 6:28 PM 2/5/2012 : Lee Douglas, longtime TV and radio personality has died
It is with great sadness that News 5 announces the death of longtime Sports Director, Lee Douglas.
Douglas, 57, died today in Pueblo, after being hospitalized Saturday with kidney problems, according to friends.
Douglas had a long career in televison and radio in southern Colorado.
"Douglas Lee Cooley graduated from Pueblo's Centennial High School in ‘73 and then from CSU Pueblo in '77," said southern Colorado broadcaster and colleague, Bob Bosche. "Reversing his middle & first names, his professional name became Lee Douglas." Bosche said.
"As a member of Pikes Peak Broadcasters, most of us knew him, many of us worked with him and all of us liked him," Bosche said. "From his early days at Pueblo's KDZA to his long tenure at KOAA, Lee always brought his "A" game. Two of his great passions were his love of music (especially ‘oldies') and of course sports."
Douglas started part time at KDZA radio in Pueblo, when he was still at CSU, said friend and colleague, Nick Donovan. "Lee got into the business when he was still taking Mass Com classes at CSU Pueblo," Nonovan recalled.
"What people might not know is that during his career he was the Assistant Manager for the City of Pueblo and the Assistant State Fair Manager in the 1980's," Donovan said.
And playing on his well-known "nice-guy" image?
"I used to call him Richie Cunningham," Donovan said, referring to the Ron Howard character in the TV sitcom, "Happy Days. "He always did things by the book."
Douglas began his TV career at KOAA in 1979 and became Sports Director in 2000.
Douglas covered all kinds of sports in Colorado and won numerous awards, from the Colorado Broadcasters Association to Best Local Sportcaster honors from the "Pueblo Chieftain, the "Gazette" and the "Colorado Springs Independent."
Lee's incredible career, his contribution to sports and his connection to the southern Colorado community he loved will be featured tonight at 9:30 on News 5.