Where has Jim Donovan been? Illness explored as beloved Browns' announcer reveals leukemia relapse

Jim Donovan revealed that his leukemia has returned (Image via TVTye/Twitter)
Jim Donovan revealed that his leukemia has returned (Image via TVTye/Twitter)

News anchor for WKYC channel 3, Jim Donovan, has been diagnosed with leukemia again. Jim is now undergoing treatment for the same. He contracted chronic lymphocytic leukemia back in 2000 and had to undergo a bone marrow transplant in 2011. He revealed the news on 3 News' Front Row on Wednesday and said:

"There's a story to the new look and hairstyle that I'm sporting here tonight. It was about a year and a half ago that I noticed that something was amiss with my health."

He added that all those who know him over the years are well aware of his battle with leukemia and his bone marrow transplant. He mentioned in the end that he was informed that he had a relapse of leukemia.

Jim Donovan said that he has started getting treatment for his disease

Jim stated that he has been undergoing chemotherapy for 18 months, along with a few internal and oral medications that have proved beneficial for him. However, he is planning to get better treatment now and said that while chemotherapy begins, people also lose their hair. He added:

"This is going to be kind of a long and winding road through this treatment plan because it's going to be pretty aggressive. I've got to get healthy, got to move on. I know the deal. I've done it before and I plan to do it once again."

Jim Donovan expressed gratitude to Channel 3 and his family members and said that although his family knows about his leukemia diagnosis, they have prepared themselves to fight again. He said that he is confident about the medical professionals at the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals who are taking care of him. Stating that he would try to be on-air as much as possible, Jim said:

"But there are going to be periods of time where I might not be with you. That might be a day, might be for a longer period of time. We'll just have to see how the treatment plan goes and see how I react to it all."

Jim Donovan was diagnosed with chronic lymphatic leukemia in 2000

Jim Donovan's diagnosis of chronic lymphatic leukemia was revealed in 2000. He had been getting treatment for the same condition for almost 11 years, and in 2011 he had to have bone marrow surgery. He took a medical leave from work for the procedure.


He announced the same during his sportscast on Channel 3, and the reason behind the bone marrow procedure was that his disease took a worse turn in January 2011. Donovan's name was added to the donor waiting list, and in April of that same year, he was successful in finding a match. While appearing in an interview, he said:

"From the time I got diagnosed, the transplant option was always laid out to me. The waiting has been kind of torturous. I think we're as ready as we can be."


Donovan was expected to recover in five months and was trying to get back to the microphone as soon as possible. Despite his health issues, he was working at the time, and WKYC president and general manager Brooke Spectorsky stated that Donovan's ability to battle his problems while working makes him unique. He added:

"He's tackling this just like he's tackled every job, every project, he's ever done for us. He puts every ounce of effort into overcoming this disease, just like he does his homework for a broadcast."

Jim Donovan said that he was lucky that the disease did not affect him physically and that he tried to remain as busy as possible.

Jim Donovan has been working at WKYC Channel 3 for a long time


Jim Donovan joined WKYC Channel 3 in 1985 after the demise of sports anchor Jim Graner. Donovan started to host different shows on BSGL based on the theme of the Cleveland Browns.

He became the anchor of WKYC Channel 3's 7 p.m. newscast in January 2012 and continued his duties as a sports anchor. He has been a recipient of the Lower Great Lakes Emmy Award thrice, alongside other accolades.