Donn Ansell dies at 69

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Submitted: Sat, 08/25/2012 - 1:44am
Updated: Mon, 08/27/2012 - 1:04am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Former WAAV radio “Talk of the Town” host Donn Ansell has died at the age of 69.

Ansell grew up in New Jersey and was hired on as a temp at CBS. He went on to work on network shows from “Captain Kangaroo” to “60 Minutes.”

Ansell came to Wilmington as a radio announcer. He is well known from his time on “Talk of the Town” on WAAV. Ansell bought the station and ran it from 1988 until 1997. He was also an actor, director and managing director for the Thalian Association. He was also hosted the public affairs talk show “Byline: Wilmington” on WILM TV.

Longtime radio host Rhonda Bellamy remembers her good friend fondly.

“As many people know, Donn was my mentor, not only in the broadcast realm but in theater; two passions that we both shared,” Bellamy said. “He was like a member of the family to me, and I tell people often that there is no Rhonda Bellamy without a Donn Ansell. He gave me my start in radio and supported me throughout the many things I’ve done in radio and theater, so he will be terribly missed.”

Bellamy visited Ansell just last night in hospice..

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6 Comments on "Donn Ansell dies at 69"

lee howard
2015 years 8 months ago

Donn gave me my start in radio around the same time as Rhonda Bellamy and i worked with both. Donn was very talented and telegenic. He taught me things that others would not have even seen. I will miss running into him downtown and talking about those days. Wilmington will miss Donn’s talent. God bless you brother.

Wade Griffis
2015 years 8 months ago

Years ago. when the station was upstairs in the building on 2nd street- I intervied with him for a job I was not remotely qualified for. It was for talk show host. I had written a funny 30 second spot, recorded it and took the tape to him as an interview.

He laughed, and even though I have a voice somewhere between Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck he offered me a writing job. He was a generous man. Although I did not take that job I remember him fondly.

Charles Walters
2015 years 8 months ago

People like Donn Ansell only come along once in a life time. Those who benefited from his knowledge should pass it on so others might benefit from what he taught. Wilmington is a better place because of Donn. RIP

Mark Tamn
2015 years 8 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with with Donn each week for several years as the host of “In the Garden ” on WAAV radio. Donn was a unique individual.I will always remember him as a terrific person and true profeesional. My prayers are with his family.

Mark Tamn

Harvard Jennings
2015 years 8 months ago

Donn was one of a kind. He brought me into WAAV radio and was a trusted mentor and advisor. I truly enjoyed the many conversations with him. his intellect was exceptional as was his compassion and commitment to the Wilmington/New Hanover community. Under Donn’s leadership WAAV radio became a true institution in the county. He allowed a balance between the left and the right on air and appreciated both perspectives. I will never forget this truly remarkable man. Rest in peace my friend. Harvard jennings

2015 years 8 months ago

Donn Ansell is my pop pop and he will be terribly missed. I saw him in many shows and he was amazing. He is a great person and I loved him very much.