Jim Donovan (sportscaster)

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Jim Donovan
Donovan 2011 Sports Awards (cropped) 2.jpg
Born James Francis Donovan
July 17, 1956 (1956-07-17) (age 60)
Boston, Mass.
Occupation TV sports anchor
TV news anchor
NFL radio announcer
Awards Three-time Lower Great Lakes Emmy Award winner

Jim Donovan (born James Francis Donovan III, on July 17, 1956, in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American radio and television personality who serves as sports director and news anchor for WKYC channel 3 (NBC) in Cleveland, Ohio, and has been the radio voice of the Cleveland Browns Radio Network since 1999.[1]

Brief biography[edit]

A native of Boston and a 1978 graduate of Boston University, Donovan began his career as a sports director for WJON radio in St. Cloud, Minnesota. From Minnesota, he moved to Vermont, providing play-by-play basketball and hockey coverage for the Satellite News Channel in Burlington, Vermont. He also did play-by-play and sports anchoring at WVMT radio and WEZF-TV.

He also served for one season as play-by-play announcer for the Vermont Reds, a Cincinnati Reds minor league baseball team (which coincidentally is now the Akron RubberDucks, a Cleveland Indians minor league team).[1]

WKYC and SportsTime Ohio[edit]

Following the death of WKYC weeknight sports anchor Jim Graner in 1976, the Channel 3 sports director job became something of a "revolving door," as at least six replacements came and went over the next decade – this was until Donovan, who had joined the station in 1985 as weekend sports anchor, finally took over in 1986. He has held the post ever since.[2]

In 2006, channel 3 and SportsTime Ohio (STO) acquired the local TV rights to the Cleveland Browns. So in addition to his duties on WKYC, Donovan also hosts several Browns themed programs on STO.


On the national level Donovan had called play-by-play for NBC Sports' NFL coverage from 1987 to 1997. He also handled swimming and soccer play-by-play in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics for NBC, and World Cup Soccer in 1994.

In 1999, when the Cleveland Browns returned to the NFL, Donovan was named as radio play-by-play voice of the team.

After WKYC acquired the local, over-the-air television rights to the Cleveland Indians, Donovan served as play-by-play announcer from 2006–2008.

Signature calls[edit]

Ten...Five...Touchdown Browns! – when a Browns player scores a touchdown with a clear path to the end zone.

Run William Run! - in reference to William Green 64 yard touchdown run during a Cleveland Browns vs. Atlanta Falcons game in 2002.

Medical leave[edit]

On May 25, 2011 during the 11 pm newscast, Donovan announced he had been battling leukemia for the last ten years, and that he would be taking a leave of absence to undergo a (what would be a successful) bone marrow transplant.

On September 11, 2011, Donovan returned to the Browns broadcasting booth in time for their opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. The next night, he returned to the sports anchor chair at WKYC, as well as his hosting duties on STO.[3]

Donovan met with his bone marrow donor on Thanksgiving Night in 2013, when Dallas Gentry from Wise, Virginia visited the Donovan family.[4]

News anchor[edit]

On January 16, 2012, Donovan expanded his duties at WKYC as he became the anchor of channel 3's 7 p.m. newscast. He continues in his role as sports anchor at 6 and 11 p.m.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Donovan, his wife (Cheryl), and daughter (Meghan) live in Hinckley, Ohio.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Three-time Lower Great Lakes Emmy Award winner.[1]
  • 1988 Cleveland Press Club All-Ohio Best Sportscaster.[1]
  • Cleveland Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee (class of 2005)[6]
  • Cleveland Press Club Journalism Hall of Fame inductee (class of 2009).[7]
  • 2016 Cleveland Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement Award[8]


External links[edit]