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Milwaukee TV newscaster flips 1913 Liberty nickel on air

Thank goodness for “Cointains.”

mrhappy.jpgMark Concannon, a Milwaukee television anchorman, unexpectedly flipped the Bebee/McDermott specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel during a live interview segment on WITI-TV’s Fox 6 Wake Up News program on Wednesday morning, August 8. (Yes, he’d been politely informed before we went on the air that the “props” for the interview could be handled, but with care…..)

Mark Concannon, right, a WITI-TV newscaster, flips the famous 1913
Liberty Head nickel during a newscast Aug. 8 as Dawn Haley, director of external affairs for the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing and Donn Pearlman look on. Pearlman brought the nickel to the show to publicize the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money being held in Milwaukee.

Dawn Haley, director of external affairs for the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and I were the interview guests on the segment to promote the opening of the ANA World’s Fair of Money. She brought along a few eye-opening items from the BEP’s popular Billion Dollar Display including Series 1934 Gold Certificate $100,000 notes and a $500 million Treasury Bond. With the gracious permission of the ANA and the assistance of ANA Money Museum Curator Douglas Mudd, I had the Bebee/McDermott 1913 nickel, which is making its “homecoming” appearance in Milwaukee for the first time in 40 years.

During the interview, newscaster Concannon picked up the nickel and flipped it in the air. Fortunately, it’s in a Cointain protective holder, and fortunately, Concannon caught it.

A similar situation occurred with me in the late 1990s when I was on KTLA-TV in Los Angeles with Greg Roberts to show an 1894-S dime that was going on display at the Long Beach Expo. Comedian Bill Cosby was also on the set. During the live interview, the Cos came over to look at the coin (it was in a PCGS holder), took a dime from his pocket, put it on the table, picked up the ’94-S and began doing a “Fat Albert” walk off the set with the ’94-S. It was very funny, and after the segment he graciously posed for a photo holding the coin (which was safely returned to Roberts.)

Newscaster Concannon was enthusiastic about coin collecting and genuinely interested in the items Haley and I brought for “show ‘n’ tell.” It was a great promotion for the ANA convention. As a numismatist, I was briefly stunned by the coin flip. As a 30-year broadcaster (before turning to The Dark Side of the Force, PR), I knew it was “good television.” But I hope that this was a TV first that has no sequel.

Editor?s Note:
Donn Pearlman posted this story on the Collector?s Universe Forum and shared the story with Numismatic News.

The thread on the Collectors Universe Web site can be found here.

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