Don Kennedy began his radio career in 1943 with a half-watt homemade radio station in the basement of his parent’s home in tiny Beaver, Pennsylvania. His first paying position was in 1947 as an announcer at WPIC in Sharon, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Youngstown, Ohio. While in college, he announced news, sports scores and did music programs at WBVP in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
After military service as a radio studio manager in a psychological warfare unit during the Korean War, he anchored the eleven o’clock news at WSB-TV in Atlanta, eventually being assigned as a children’s show host at that station, a program amassing the largest audience of any such local program in the nation. In 1960 he established WKLS-FM in Atlanta, serving as President and GM. He also set up and served as President of Georgia Network and Florida Network, two of the pioneer state news networks in the nation. In 1976 his company returned Atlanta’s channel 36, WATL-TV to the air.
(click to hear Don on the Georgia Network)
He is the recipient of the Silver Circle Award and two Emmys from the Atlanta Chapter of NATAS, the Pioneer Broadcaster and Georgia Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame awards from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters and honorary membership in the Di Gamma Kappa Broadcast Fraternity at the University of Georgia. He has been President of the Georgia Chapter of Muscular Dystrophy, treasurer of the Atlanta Humane Society and board member of the Atlanta Cancer Society.
In recent years, Kennedy has been network coordinator for the Atlanta Braves radio network, the Georgia Tech Football and Basketball networks. He syndicated a now defunct weekly BIG BAND JUMP radio program. AT one time BBJ was heard on 100 stations in 32 states, Canada, and the UK. He is also the voice of several cartoon characters on cable’s Cartoon Network and narrator for award winning documentaries seen on the nine television stations of Georgia Public Television. He is also a regular volunteer reader for the Georgia Radio Reading Service for the Blind.
Don lives in Atlanta.
Don on WBVP 1950 Officer Don and Jane Powell
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