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Browns radio voice to take leave of absence

Jim Donovan taking medical leave as he continues his battle against leukemia.

NFL: Cleveland Browns-2021 NFL Draft Press Conference Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns will be without their longtime radio voice for the immediate future after play-by-play man Jim Donovan announced that he is taking a medical leave of absence.

Donovan, who has been the radio voice of the Browns for the past 23 seasons, made the announcement on Sunday following Cleveland’s 24-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Donovan revealed at the end of May that he is battling leukemia for the second time and is now taking time off as part of the next step in his treatment, according to WKYC, the Cleveland news station where he has worked since 1985.

Donovan promised to be “back as soon as I can” in a story posted on

“In addition to my teams at WKYC, the Browns, and of course my wife (Cheryl) and daughter (Meghan), I have an amazing group of doctors and caregivers at University Hospital’s Seidman Cancer Center and I truly appreciate everyone’s support. I promise I’ll be a listener, and I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Donovan was originally diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2000 and eventually had a bone marrow transplant in 2011. About 18 months ago he began to notice a change in his health and tests revealed that the leukemia had returned, according to

It was in May that Donovan publicly announced the change in his health and hinted that he may need to take some time off (quote via The Beacon Journal):

“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.”

In his absence, Chris Rose will take over as the play-by-play announcer.

Everyone at Dawgs By Nature wishes Donovan the best and looks forward to his return to the radio booth on game days.