George Donikian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
George Donikian
Born George Jack Donikian
(1951-12-15) 15 December 1951 (age 63)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Occupation Television news presenter
Spouse(s) Athena Donikian (m. 1979–87)
Di Gillett (m. 2005)

George Jack Donikian (born 15 December 1951) is an Australian television news presenter of Greek-Armenian descent.

Early life[edit]

Donikian was born and raised in Sydney. His father was a Greek Armenian who had emigrated to Australia from Athens in 1949, with his fiancée following a year later. He grew up speaking Greek, Armenian and Turkish, and did not speak English until the age of 7.[1] Despite his father's wish for him to become a doctor or barrister, Donikian found his calling in sports, in particular soccer. At the age of 16, his soccer skills brought him to the notice of Jozef Vengloš, the manager of the national team, however his sporting hopes ended when he dislocated his shoulder whilst lifting weights in training.[2]

Radio career[edit]

Donikian commenced his media career as an announcer with radio station 4AM in far North Queensland in the mid-1970s, then went to 2WL in Wollongong. According to Donikian, he was asked to go by the surname "Donekan" during his radio career—his bosses claiming that his real name was too difficult to pronounce and remember, and that the pseudonym sounded like the more "acceptable" Irish surname "Donegan".[2] Then he went to 2WS in 1979. Then he did talk back on Radio FIVEaa in Adelaide. Then he covered the Athens Olympics for Melbourne commercial radio in 2004.

Television career[edit]

George's television career began in 1980, when during a chance meeting he impressed Bruce Gyngell, who saw him as the ideal presenter for his multi cultural I.M.B.C television Network which launched in Melbourne and Sydney in 1980. Then he was a presenter for SBS World News, then as a newsreader for the Nine Network, and later Ten News.

When George first presented Ten News in 1991, he presented the weeknight bulletin solo before being joined by Nikki Dwyer the following year. He left the Ten Network in September 2011, and became a "free agent" after a restructuring of Ten's newsroom saw him shifted to the weekend national evening bulletin.[3]


  1. ^ "Where Are They Now?: George Donikian". Drive with Michael Smyth (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 891 ABC Adelaide. 10 February 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Courtis, Brian (14 June 1984). "'Irish' boy finally makes good". The Age. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "George Donikian farewells Channel 10". The Advertiser (News Limited). 24 September 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Keith Martyn
Ten News at Five Adelaide
Presenter with Rebecca Morse

4 February 1991 – 21 January 2011
Succeeded by
Belinda Heggen
Preceded by
Mal Walden
Ten News at Five Melbourne
Presenter with Helen Kapalos (Friday)

April 2011 – September 2011
Succeeded by
Mal Walden
Preceded by
Hermione Kitson
Ten Evening News Melbourne
Weekend Presenter

April 2011 – September 2011
Succeeded by
Natarsha Belling & Matt Doran
Preceded by
SBS World News Australia

Succeeded by
Mary Kostakidis