Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Comments Re: Mary Donald

So Delores Handy, who is about to be inducted in the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame is the "Mary Donald" of KAAY fame. Her bio says she was the first black anchor person in Arkansas television also, but it does not say anything about her KAAY history. She probably was the first black on-air personality at KAAY also. Let us hear more about this person and her KAAY connection.

Jim Clark
Rogers, AR


I remember working with Mary Donald very well, for quite awhile she did newscasts on my show at night.

Mary truly cracked me up one night when she reported an earthquake that hit China or somewhere. She stated something like "...the earthquake registered 6.5 on the RICHARD Scale."

I was on the floor ! I explained to Mary that it was the "RICHTER" Scale NOT the Richard Scale.

I used to tease her before she went on sometimes by saying: "Coming up in just a few minutes, Mary Donald, wearing her newest Orthopedic Sweat Sox, with the latest news."

Mary was a sweetie and was well aware of my research, show prep, and, constant striving for "doing things the right way the first time, so you don't have to do them a second time." I was, and still am, a stickler for perfection, as most who know me well will attest to.

So, one time when she was in the Control Room and heard me compliment someone about something they did, Mary said: "You got a compliment from Jonnie King ?! Boy, you better not forget that ! He doesn't cut anybody any slack !"

Mary was a really nice girl, but I know that at first working with me she was sometimes intimidated. She hadn't been in the business all that long at the time, and she was a little leary of making the wrong moves or saying the wrong thing in her newscast when I was on the other side of the glass.

However, after awhile she warmed up, and knew I "was on her side" and wanted her to do well, and became a good friend.

I missed her when I switched from 8-11pm to Mid-Days.

Jonnie King

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