Voice of the Browns, WKYC’s Jim Donovan announces leukemia relapse

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A familiar face and voice to many in Cleveland sports has announced that he is battling leukemia – once again.

Jim Donovan made the announcement Wednesday evening on WKYC’s Front Row. He shared that he noticed something more than a year ago and had concerns it was the cancer.

jim donovan
Jordan Miller (left) and Jim Donovan pictured outside of the Browns training facility in Berea while covering the NFL draft in 2019.

“I noticed something was amiss with my health,” he said during the broadcast. “My concerns were confirmed to me and it was told to me that I had a relapse of leukemia.”

Donovan shared that he has been receiving chemotherapy for the last year and a half. He added they will be attacking the disease aggresively.

“For the most part, they worked pretty well, but things change, and so we’re going to have to go with a different treatment plan — a more aggressive treatment plan, which has already started,” Donovan said.

The sports broadcaster said he plans to be at WKYC and on the radio calling Browns games as much as he can. But warned viewers and listeners that there will be periods of time that he may be absent.

Donovan was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2000 and battled the disease for over 10 years before he received a bone-marrow transplant.

WKYC President and General Manager Micki Byrnes released the following statement about Donovan’s announcement:

Jim Donovan is a Cleveland broadcasting legend, whose name has become synonymous with the Northeast Ohio sports scene. Just as Jim handles his daily reporting and analysis with smarts, grit and strength — we know that Jim will bring that same tenacity and spirit to this health battle. We appreciate that the viewers and community stand in solidarity with our WKYC team in supporting Jim and his family, just as they always have for the past 38+ years.

Jim Donovan has been with WKYC since 1985 and became the voice of the Browns in 1999.