CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) –
Chattanooga TV personality Don Welch has passed away at the age of 75, ending his battle with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.
The Dayton, Tenn. native first made his mark in Chattanooga broadcasting in the 1960s, as a news reader and disc jockey on WDXB radio.
Welch’s 52-year broadcast career included stints on local radio and television. After leaving WDXB radio in 1967, he became an announcer at WRCB Channel 3. Then-news director Fred Gault said, “He was hired to read commercials, and worked his way into the control room where he learned to direct newscasts.” One day, they needed somebody to fill in doing the weather, and he said, “I can talk my way through anything, I can do this too.”
For the next six years, did a little bit of everything on Channel 3, eventually becoming the regular weekday weatherman. In 1975, WTVC Channel 9’s new general manager Jane Grams began the process of hiring a new anchor team. The station had selected Darrell Patterson as its new sports anchor, then hired Bob Johnson as news anchor. but needed a weather personality to complete the new team. Patterson knew Welch from their radio days, and recommended him to Channel 9 managers.
The team was only in place for about five years, but many viewers still remember the trio fondly, calling them “The Three Musketeers.”
In recent years, Welch co-hosted WTVC’s morning news with Melydia Clewell and Bill Race. From 2005 until his retirement in 2014, he hosted a midday show called, “This ‘n That.” Funeral arrangements have not been announced.