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“Voice of the Browns” radio announcer Jim Donovan reveals leukemia relapse

Sad news came out of Berea on Wednesday when Jim Donovan, the radio announcer for the Cleveland Browns franchise, announced on the Channel 3 News show “Front Row” that he has suffered a relapse with leukemia. The WKYC-TV Sports Director has resumed treatment.

Donovan explained that symptoms began about a year and a half ago before he received the news of the new diagnosis. He has since begun sessions of chemotherapy.

After his heart-warming announcement on the show, Donovan stated:

“This is going to be kind of a long and winding road through this treatment plan because it is going to be aggressive. The goal is: gotta get better, gotta get healthy, gotta move on. I know the deal, I’ve done it before, and I plan to do it once again. Through all of this, I will be here at Channel 3 and on the radio as much as I can be. But there will be periods of time that I might not be with you, maybe for a day, maybe for longer.”

Donovan has been the “Voice of the Browns” since 1999. After doing play-by-play for several minor league baseball teams, he joined the station in 1985 as the sports anchor just on weekends. The following year he took over the regular sports anchor job and has been doing this ever since in the Cleveland area.

Channel 3 acquired the local TV rights to the Browns in 2006. Donovan served as play-by-play announcer from 2006-2008. His cantor of “Run William Run!” from a line breakout 64-yard touchdown run from rookie William Green is considered legendary.


In the spring of 2011, Donovan told his audience he had been battling leukemia for the past 10 years. He would also need a bone marrow transplant.

Four months later, he was back in the booth for the Week 1 home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals. He would also be back as the WKYC Sports Anchor.

The Browns organization released the following:

“Our thoughts and the thoughts of the entire organization are with Jim and his family right now in this difficult time. There is no better representative of the Cleveland Browns. He is as tough as they come and proved as much in his previous battle. We’re all behind Jim and will do everything we can to support him. We look forward to him winning this fight, being around the team, and continuing to call our games during the season.”

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