Doug Dieken will call his final game as the Browns' radio color analyst Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium, but his name won't be leaving the radio booth he's called home for over three decades as a voice of the franchise.
The Browns announced Sunday they'll rename their home radio booth "The Doug Dieken Radio Booth'' after Dieken announced his retirement from calling games, a position he's held with the Browns for 34 years. Dieken, who will officially retire at the conclusion of Sunday's Week 18 game against the Bengals, spent 50 total years with the franchise after he transitioned to the booth following a 14-season career as a left tackle, where he played in 203 straight games and was one of the top tackles in team history.
"Doug Dieken has been a great representative of the Cleveland Browns for more than 50 years, and all he's done for our organization is greatly appreciated," said Dee and Jimmy Haslam. "To have a career as he did on the field with the record number of consecutive games played and then become the steady and consistent voice he has been in the radio booth is genuinely remarkable. Doug is the consummate professional. He is the Cleveland Browns, and his legacy will not be forgotten."
Dieken started his radio career in 1985 alongside Nev Chandler and Jim Mueller, who rotated play-by-play duties with Dieken for each quarter of a game. Chandler took over the play-by-play role full-time in 1986, and he and Dieken called games together until 1993, when Chandler, who died of cancer one year later, needed to step away from the booth. Dieken and Casey Coleman called games together for the franchise's final two seasons before its move to Baltimore following the 1995 season.
When the franchise returned in 1999, Dieken reapplied and again received color commentator duties and was paired with Jim Donovan. The duo has delivered the action through Northeast Ohio radio waves for 23 years, and Dieken has only missed two games in his entire 34-year career as a broadcaster. He's also maintained a constant presence in the locker room, fostering relationships and providing mentorship for players, coaches and team personnel.
"It's hard to think of a Cleveland Browns game without Doug Dieken being a part of it, and it'll be very difficult for me to look to my right and not see him there," Donovan said. "For 23 years, it's been amazing having him alongside to call games on the Browns radio network. He was a great player, and he's a Browns legend, and he's a great broadcaster that fits so well with what the Cleveland Browns are all about. He's connected with their fans, and it's going to be a big adjustment for all of us come next season when he's not there."
The organization will embark on a search to fill Dieken's seat next to Donovan during the offseason, but his name will now always be present in the room on a silver plaque. His voice, too, will always be connected with some of the greatest Browns moments and calls in franchise history, ensuring Dieken's legacy and importance to the franchise will never be lost.