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Don Webster

DON WEBSTER


Donald George Webster was born in the city of Chatham, Ontario, Canada in 1939. His father died when he was eleven years old. After graduating high school, he went to work in the radio business, working in stations in Hamilton, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec.

In the early 1960s, Webster had become host of an American Bandstand-style dance show in Hamilton. In 1964 after then WEWS general manager Don Perris just happened to see his Canadian show on TV while on vacation in Erie, Pennsylvania, Webster was brought to Cleveland to host a local music and dance program called The Big 5 Show. The show was a success, doing so well that in 1966, it was syndicated nationally under the title Upbeat. The show had been able to draw many big names in the music industry to Cleveland to perform on the show, and with that Webster had numerous national job offers, including working for American Bandstand host Dick Clark.

Webster however chose to remain in Cleveland, and when Upbeat was cancelled in 1971, he became the weatherman for WEWS' Eyewitness News newscasts. Webster was chosen for this job, as he had studied meteorology en route to becoming a certificated pilot. Webster was the chief weatherman at WEWS throughout the 1970s, into the 1980s, and returned to the post through most of the 1990s. Webster had left the weather desk for a time in the 1980s to become WEWS station manager, stepping down in 1989 to resume his weather duties.

In addition to Upbeat and weather forecasting, Webster also during his tenure at WEWS-TV 5 served as host for the Ohio Lottery drawings, was an original host of award winning, The Morning Exchange and hosted a local version of Bowling for Dollars. He also hosted The Gene Carroll Show after Gene Carroll died, as well as serving as the long time host of Academic Challenge.

Don was selected to the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1995 and was honored by the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters in 1999. Don retired from WEWS in 1999 and moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. He continued to appear in Cleveland media doing commercials for hearing loss centers and assisted living facilities.

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