Don Mac

Ageless wonder:  Don McClellan, WSB

Ageless wonder: Don McClellan, WSB

Don McClellan’s piece on WSB about the ING Marathon wasn’t particularly memorable, except for the fact that the ageless McClellan actually showed up to do it.

McClellan retired from WSB as a full-time reporter many years ago.  But he still turns up periodically on the air, typically covering low-impact stories.  His  bio describes him as “the senior reporter for WSB-TV/Channel 2, and he’s believed to be the ‘dean’ of Atlanta’s active television journalists.”  It doesn’t give his age, but it says he’s been in the news business for forty-plus years and was “in the middle of the civil rights struggle (and) the war in Vietnam.”

A search of WSB’s site for McClellan’s stories turns up some oddities, like the 2006 piece he produced on a guy who stole his own dogs from a clinic.  His bio says he now focuses on “human interest stories.”

As a competitor, McClellan was a remarkable guy.  Though his storytelling was very by-the-book, his attitude was always upbeat.  For those of us a decade or two younger than him, it was rather inspiring that a guy with his years could stay so positive about such a flawed industry.  It was almost as amazing as his haircut.

McClellan sounds a little raspy in this week’s piece.  But he’s as sharp and apparently as upbeat as ever.  Ten years from now, we hope he’s still “the ‘dean’ of Atlanta’s active television journalists.”

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Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

8 thoughts on “Don Mac

  1. Jerry Carnes

    I will never, ever forget seeing Don in Cherokee County after some homes flooded a neighborhood. We were walking through a muddy yard. I had on boots, Don did not. He slipped and landed flat on his back. His reaction? He summoned his photographer (Tracy Reeves, I believe) to shoot a “standup” (a laydown???).

    Don will outlast us all.

  2. daryll

    I think he’s the Energizer bunny of Atlanta’s television reporters and probably a really neat and engaging guy. At the close of his packages, his strong inflection of “Channel TWO, Action News” still brings a smile to me. I hope retirement is kind to him.

  3. Jim

    I’ve had the pleasure to meet Don on a few assignments, and would wholeheartedly agree with every good comment here about him.

    He’s always nice, always positive, and truly enjoys this business. Sometimes I think we all need to be reminded that we have jobs that many people dream of. He’s never forgotten that, and loves every minute of it.

    To me, seeing him out running an event he’s covering is more than a little inspiring.

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  5. CB Hackworth

    Thanks for the tribute to Don Mac. I owe my entire career in TV news to him — not only because he got me in the door, but also because he then took the time to teach me how to write a clear, concise script using the materials available. They were incredibly valuable lessons, well taught… from a guy who had no reason to spend so much time with someone so green other than the fact that he really… is… just… that… nice.

    Don isn’t an unsung hero — I think there are many of us who sing his praises — it is hard to say enough good things. He’s one of a kind.

  6. Kim Underwood Lyons

    I was an intern at WSB in 1983 and Don had me go undercover for an investigative report he did on people who were buying auto tags outside their own county to save money. I was a terrible typist at the time and marked up the auto tag form with corrections. Don even made light of that in his story!

    I saw him three years ago at a local 5k race and he remembered me. He won his age group, and so did I. I think we were the only entrants in our categories and I think I saw him at the finish line cheering me on. A great guy through and through.


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