Digital Exclusive: Denny Callahan, KLEM sports director, announces retirement in April

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LE MARS, Iowa (KCAU) – After 51 years in radio broadcasting, KLEM sports director Denny Callahan announced he plans to retire in April due to health and other reasons.

“Probably at the top of the list was just spending more time with my family. They sacrificed so much time so I could do what I want to do the way I wanted to do it and they’ve been gracious to allow me to do that. I know they feel like they’ve been sucking at my life a lot of times, but they really haven’t been. There’s priorities that go along with this business that you got to address,” said Denny Callahan, sports director and disc jockey for KLEM 1410.

Callahan’s career began in 1970 working in Grinnell, Iowa for three years before moving to Le Mars for the remainder of his tenure.

Listeners most remember him for his passionate play-by-plays and vivid descriptions of the games he covers.

“I grew up in an era where a lot of people hadn’t actually been to the stadiums so you had to just really paint the picture, make them feel like they’d actually been there and knew it. When they ever did get there finally for the first time, ‘Yeah, it’s just the way Denny Callahan described it.’ That’s one of the biggest compliments I feel like I can get is somebody saying, ‘You made me feel like I was there. I can just see it,'” said Callahan.

Callahan said he will miss the people he’s worked with at the station and going to the games.

“Well, first of all, the KLEM family here, we all got really close and the kids, first and foremost, I’m gonna miss the kids that I do games for. That’s been my passion from day one. It’s still my passion now. It’s what I’m gonna miss probably the most about, not being able to go to the game and actually tell their story,” said Callahan.

Callahan hopes whoever takes over for him will bring the same passion as he had over the years.

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