When A Bright Light Dims

Paula Coleman Radio IconToday in Las Vegas while most us are going about our regular day and for those of us that it is “our Friday” it is just a few more hours to get through at work before the weekend. But today is not a regular day, today is when so many of us say goodbye a radio icon, a trusted and well known voice.

Nevada Public Radio Morning Edition

Paula Coleman has shared morning coffee with many Nevadans as host of Morning Edition on Nevada Public Radio. For the past 16 yeas she has graced the airwaves with her soothing and uplifting voice to welcome a new day. We have come accustomed to hearing her each day and have relied upon her to wake us up and join us on our journey to work.

Her career in radio started in college at Virginia Tech which is where she met her husband. After a stint in Maryland, they landed here in Las Vegas and what was a simple peruse of the classifieds on a Sunday morning while her sister was visiting, she saw a job that she knew it was the one. It was to be hers and 16 years later, it has been.

November 19th Declared Paula Coleman Day

Mayor Goodman has declared November 19th as Paula Coleman Day in recognition of her commitment and devotion to Nevada Public Radio. This well deserved honor is a tribute to her professionally and personally. As not one to praise Las Vegas often, today I am proud to say I am resident of Las Vegas as they have acknowledged Paula for her accomplishments and her dedication to not only radio but to the listeners.

Paula Coleman Day

Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame Induction

In August, Paula was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame. This distinctive honor is somewhat bittersweet as being recognized for what you love to do is a highlight in anyone’s career however when it is coming on the heels of when you are signing off the air, it is surreal. Radio has never been a job for her as a job is a place we go to, work and leave. Radio is her passion, her calling and being inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame is a tribute to not only her but also to the listeners.

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend

Paula for me and many others is not only that soothing voice on the radio. I remember the first time I heard her voice on the air. It was in June 1999 when I had been in Las Vegas for just a few days. I was scanning stations to try and program my car radio and I landed on NPR and heard a voice that is not easily forgotten. It was not too long after that when I heard a voice that was similar to the one I heard on the radio but certainly it could not be HER. For we were out watching the New York Jets. I asked someone and most certainly it was. As I was a bit starstruck but I was able to find a very nice seat next to her that has remained. We shared the birth of her daughter that first season and then years later the birth of my son as well as many wins and losses of our beloved Jets.

The Beginning of a New Era

The Paula Coleman red “on air” will not illuminate the halls Nevada Public Radio as it has done for so many years. She is embarking on a new journey which is taking her and her family to Tennessee. The voice that we have become accustomed to has been dimmed for now but the loss that we are feeling here in Nevada will be a gain for the folks in Tennessee. At first she will be afforded the sweet serenity of trees, a garden, plants to plant and nurture (her second calling is a horticulturist). But that will not last for long as the voice of Paula Coleman will live on and she will be a part of the day for the folks of Tennessee. Though, I would not bet on her converting to a Titans fan any time soon.

I guess in the end we all move on but what we leave behind is a part of our legacy and today we said goodbye to a trusted voice and friend. She leaves behind a piece of her here in Nevada but takes with her a love and passion for radio along with the memories and yearning for the days of  “Hey Paula … Hey Rob.”

While we all look for the right words to say to her, the best words are from her daughter … “my mom is like a celebrity.” Yeah honey, she is.

Screen shot photo: Nevada Public Radio.

  • ((hugs))

    • Margie

      Thanks, I needed a super big one. The next few weeks will be very tough as her family has become a part of our lives and saying goodbye will be very difficult. I will miss them terribly but we both know that before long we will be sitting next to each other at the Meadowlands.

      • Barb

        That was a wonderful article you wrote about Paula. I am so glad that you became her friend. I am her Mom in law and you know her better than I do. You brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.