Mike McDonald worked as a news director for 24 years, 22 of those years at WDAF-TV in Kansas City. That’s where Mike brought the first helicopter to Kansas City and began airing, an unheard of 49 hours of news a week during the 1994 transition of WDAF from NBC to FOX. Mike grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri and received his journalism degree from the world-renowned University of Missouri School of Journalism. He started his career in his hometown, landing a job as a photographer at what is now KQTV in St. Joe.
From there, Mike worked as a photographer, producer news reporter and sports anchor in Ft. Wayne, Miami and Louisville. He returned to WDAF where he worked his way up to Assistant News Director before taking over as news director in 1978. Under Mike’s leadership, The Associated Press and United Press International picked WDAF for having the best newscast in 1980, 1988 and 1989. Mike took an early retirement in 2002 to comply with corporate policy prohibiting spouses from supervising one another so his wife could become general manager. Mike now joins his wife, Cheryl McDonald, in the Academy’s Silver Circle. Now truly retired, Mike pursues his hobbies of photography, reading and cooking. He also stays in touch with many of the hundreds of those whose careers he’s launched over the years.