1939 (age 79)
TV host (retired)Weather forecaster (retired)
Ohio Broadcasters HOFCleveland Broadcasters HOF
Dorothy Fuldheim, Gib Shanley, Wilma Smith (newscaster)
December 13, 2018 (aged 79) Westlake, Ohio, U.S.
Donald "Don" Webster (born 1939) is a retired television host, weather forecaster, and station manager who is best known as the host of the nationally syndicated music program Upbeat and the longtime weatherman for Cleveland, Ohio ABC affiliate WEWS-TV 5.
Webster was born in the city of Chatham, Ontario, Canada in 1939. His father had died when he was 11 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 licensed pilot. Webster was the chief weatherman at WEWS throughout the '70s, into the '80s, and returned to the post through most of the '90s. 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 had also during his tenure at TV 5 served as host for the Ohio Lottery drawings, was an original host of 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.
Webster retired from WEWS in 1999, moving to Hilton Head, South Carolina with his wife Candi. Though he still appears occasionally in Cleveland media, doing ads for local hearing loss centers and assisted living facilities.