He grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, nicknamed "Sarge," after his father's rank in the United States Army during World War II. A radio enthusiast from an early age (with an amateur radio station K2KOQ in a corner of the basement), he became a DJ ("Large Sarge") on WHVW in nearby Hyde Park, after helping build the station. He went on to stations in Kingston (WBAZ) and Binghamton (WENE), New York and Atlantic City, New Jersey (WMID) before landing in New York City, first at WOR-FM, and finally at WABC (at the time the "Holy Grail" for DJs), where he preceded Dan Ingram on the air.
Donovan stayed on at WABC as Production Director and staff announcer when WABC went to a talk format in 1982.
In May 2015 he retired from WABC after 43 years. He will continue as the "voice" of Rush Limbaugh's syndicated show, for which WABC was the flagship station from 1988 until the end of 2013, now airing on WOR.
- WABC Rewound — pictures of Donovan and his usual studio