Time Is Running Out for Broadcaster Dan McLaughlin

Two brushes with the law in the same year may force higher ups to end his career?

I used to get upset with the late sports editor of the St. Louis Globe Democrat. Bob Burnes tended to use the word tragic so incorrectly.

If the Cardinals would lose three in a row, he’d say that was tragic.

When Dan McLaughlin, young up-and-coming broadcaster gets arrested for alleged driving while intoxicated the second time in one year, I’d describe that as traumatic or even really tragic.

Because, now he’s letting his family down—his beautiful wife Libby and their four young children. Earning a living describing sports could be going rapidly down the drain.

His poor decisions to reportedly drink and drive are forcing bosses and decision-makers to make anguishing choices about his future, something they’d rather not have to do.

McLaughlin is more a blue-collar type of guy. His late dad started out as a school teacher and eventually became a trust officer at several local banks. I’m sure the family had to scrape a few dollars together to make sure he was properly educated at Vianney High, which he was.

He cut his teeth in sports interning with KMOX-Radio and broadcasting anything that would move at KCLC Radio at then-Lindenwood College (now University.)

He is noted for two distinctive traits:

  • He was an incredibly hard worker and focused like a laser beam on his assignments.
  • Frankly, he started out working for cheap, and higher-ups appreciated that.

And that is all very tragic, because his is so talented and affable. He is definitely a friend to all. Now, he’s at the precipice of seeing his career go up in flames. The Good Ship Dan McLaughlin could wind up crashed on the rocks.

He’s raised countless dollars supporting benefit events, mostly golf tournaments for a variety of causes, including his own annual event to benefit the Special Education Foundation.

In the press box at Busch Stadium or the bowels of Scottrade Center, he always had a time to say hello and kibitz, knowing he was about to go on the air in a matter of minutes.

He could do it all. Polished and poised, always dressed-to-the-nines in Brooks Brother suits and natty ties, he presented an aura of great knowledge, skill and confidence on the air. He called games for the Cardinals and Blues; Mizzou and the Missouri Valley. It just seemed like he was cloned and was everywhere.

Now, he’s reduced people like Fox Sports Midwest Senior VP Jack Donovan to sayng things like: “We take this matter seriously and we have suspended Dan McLaughlin and he will not be making any appearances on Fox Sports Midwest.”

Painful and carefully crafted words from a thoughtful veteran decision-maker.

The minute I heard of the second arrest for DWI, I immediately thought of the fallen U.S. Congressman Anthony Wiener from New York.

Here was a guy, handsome and well spoken, with a beautiful wife and baby on the way and threw the whole thing away over inappropriate behavior over the internet. I thought about up-and-coming Missouri elected official Jeff Smith who gave up his career for breaking major electioneering laws.

McLaughlin's legal issues with the law are just starting to bubble up.

None of us should ever cast stones. None of us is infallible. We all make mistakes. The mistakes made by an enormously talented guy like Dan McLaughlin might just cost him and his family his entire professional broadcasting career.

And that would be tragic.

Kate September 30, 2011 at 07:15 PM
As I said on the Chesterfield Patch who ran this article it is sad to see someone self-destruct before your eyes. Why are we putting him in the position as a victim? If he had hit an innocent person would that make people see things differently? He has been given a second chance and blew it. Clearly the man has problems. Although I do agree it is tragic, my sister was almost killed by a drunk driver and suffers daily with debilitating pain from the uninsured drunk driver that hit her. How many chances does a person deserve if they are of "celebrity status?" If he was a common person on the street his license would have been revoked, yet this guy comes along and smiles and is able to get out of it. How many chances do you give him until an innocent life is taken? If he chooses to have a drinking problem, so be it. Don't put the lives of innocent people at risk. I feel for his wife and family, no one deserves to be publicly humiliated. I hope and pray that he receives the help he needs.
James Baer (Editor) September 30, 2011 at 08:39 PM
I've known Dan for years, and frankly, he's a professional behind the Mic and apparently has a drinking problem. That is tragic for both he, and his adorable family. I hope his employers give him the opportunity to "clean up his act" once and for all. But they might not have room to do that?
Rhonda Weiche September 30, 2011 at 11:17 PM
I look at this guy with his beautiful blue eyes and perfect teeth and a smile that can light up any room and think how can he let himself destroy his own career? I am sure he worked hard to get where he was in his career. It is a tragedy. I am sure he is as talented as he is handsome and probably just as charming. It is a shame to self destruct in such a public manner. I have always told my children,"every choice you make in your life offers benefits or consequences. You have to decide which one you want. Choose wisely.
James Baer (Editor) October 06, 2011 at 11:12 AM
I stand corrected, The McLaughlin family resides in Town and Country, not Chesterfield. My error.
Billy Frank Thornton October 17, 2011 at 08:35 PM
This "problem" has caused more grief than any affliction known to mankind. Speaking as one who has hit such skids...millions have restored their lives and standing within their community as I have. Talk of beautiful blue eyes and perfect teeth has no benefits...this disease has NO RESPECTER. Here's hoping Mr McLaughlin can find the help he needs.


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