SYRACUSE -- He's been filling in most mornings since Chris Barnes left for Washington in January... and now "Big Jim" Donovan has been officially named morning news anchor at Clear Channel's FM Newsradio 106.9 and 570 WSYR. The title also comes with a promotion from part-time to full-time status for the veteran Syracuse radio personality.
Thanks to a tip from a friend, we found Donovan made the announcement on his personal Facebook page last night (but we won't include a link because Donovan is an on-air name, and we don't know if Jim wants his real name out there).
On Facebook, he says the idea of anchoring news full-time "is hard to believe after 30+ years of playing music for a living, but I'm actually excited about it."
In addition to serving as a fill-in anchor as needed, Donovan has been hosting "Central New York's Saturday Morning News" and he had been logging some shifts on AC-formatted sister station Y94FM (WYYY) since July 2010. It's not clear if Donovan will be strictly anchoring, or if he will continue with the other duties; we've asked WSYR PD Jason Furst, but no response yet. We'll update if/when we hear back. As of Thursday afternoon, however, Donovan still appears on the WSYR schedule for Saturday mornings.
Prior to joining WSYR, Donovan was perhaps best known for his many years across town at Cumulus (then Citadel) as the midday host for Top 40 station 93Q (WNTQ). He was let go in November 2008, a result of what management called "a big business slowdown," during what some might arguably call the peak of the recession in recent years.
Our thanks to the friend of Big Jim who noticed the Facebook update and passed word along to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anytime you catch wind of something newsworthy in local broadcasting, we hope you'll do the same!