WKBN-TV is sad to announce today Chief Meteorologist Don Guthrie died late Sunday night after a courageous and inspiring battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71.
Guthrie, a lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, spent 44 years in broadcasting from the WKBN studios and without a doubt, was the face of local weather. From his radio days, to his guaranteed forecast and the ever familiar “Hey Don” segments – he touched many lives during his time in television and radio.
“It is a sad day for all of us here at WKBN,” said WKBN-TV President/GM David Coy. “Don was a leader and an inspiration for all of us . . . he will truly be missed.”
WKBN-TV News Director, Mitch Davis, echoes the heartfelt loss, “Don Guthrie was more than our weather leader. Don was a friend to me and the entire team. Our hearts are breaking for this loss.”
Guthrie was born in Youngstown in 1943. His interest in broadcasting began at Mohawk High School in Bessemer, Pa., where he graduated in 1961.
Guthrie joined WKBN Radio in 1970 as a disc jockey and the FM Program Director.
In 1973, Don married his wife, Debbie. They have three children – Amanda, Kristy and David.
In 1980, he became a weatherman for WKBN-TV’s “Noon News” and also assumed the role of Radio Production Director. Guthrie moved to forecasting the weather on WKBN 27 First News at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., where he became the Valley’s familiar face for weather.
Guthrie was an accredited member of both the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society. Also, in 2014 he was inducted into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Akron.
In May of 2014, WKBN reported Don’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Since then, the outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming – including a “Purple for Don Day” where hundreds wore purple in support of Guthrie.
Don handled his cancer diagnosis with determination and poise. He never stopped fighting and that is a true testament to who he was as a person.
WKBN has set up an online forum for viewers to leave memories of how Don touched their lives, as well as messages of condolence for the family. Those messages can be entered through the link below.
Don Guthrie was more than just our Chief Meteorologist. He was a leader, friend and inspiration to us all. He will sadly be missed.
Remembering Don Guthrie: A WKBN Photo Montage: http://interactives.wkbn.com/photomojo/gallery/12488/
Web Tributes: http://wkbn.com/tag/remembering-don-guthrie/
About WKBN: For more than 60 years WKBN TV, the local CBS affiliate, has been at the forefront of the television industry in Youngstown, Ohio. The first television station in Youngstown, WKBN has continued its tradition today being a local leader in the digital medium as the first in the local market to launch mobile apps on devices and tablets. For more information, visit www.wkbn.com.