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Issue Date: December 2009

Where Are They Now? Don Webster

Edited by Jim Vickers; Katie Dragga, David Hansen, Christina Ipavec, Jason Lloyd, Jeannie Roberts, David Searls, Colleen Smitek, Wendy J. Sotos, Lynne Thompson, Shawn A. Turner & Matt Tullis
Don Webster
Host of Upbeat & Academic Challenge / WEWS meteorologist

The tendency for television signals to skip across bodies of water deserves a moment of thanks for Don Webster’s 35-year career at WEWS-TV5. The station’s general manager was vacationing in Erie, Pa., in 1964 when his television picked up a Canadian broadcast featuring Webster. He soon recruited the young talent to host Upbeat, a local American Bandstand-like music program that showcased music groups of the 1960s.

Along the way, Webster interviewed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (“I think the Stones needed a good shower and a barber, even more than the Beatles,” he recalls with a laugh) and scores of other acts. He hosted Upbeat until 1971 and then switched to Academic Challenge, the television game show featuring students from throughout Northeast Ohio. “We always got a kick out of when some little school from nowhere, farm country Ohio would come in and beat one of the big private schools in Cleveland,” he recalls.

Webster, who was also the station’s meteorologist from 1971 to 1981 and from ’89 to ’99, retired from WEWS 10 years ago. Now 70, he spends his days enjoying sun, sand and golf in Hilton Head, S.C., where he lives with his wife, Kandi. For the past eight years, he’s done commercials and worked part time at a Hilton Head liquor store with a motley crew of other retirees: a rocket scientist, a professor and a furniture designer. “I’ve got a lot of nice friends, a wonderful wife and a great dog,” Webster says. “What else can you ask for?”


Friday, May 14, 2010 3:35:50 PM by wayne smith
So the GM would check into Erie motels just to watch Canadian TV? I enjoyed Upbeat immensely as a kid. It started as The Big Five Show, y'know. Sorry Don wasn't here to take part in that We Are The World parody to keep LeBron in Cleveland. Look it up at
Sunday, January 15, 2012 9:16:50 AM by JC Gaydos
I am interested in the Canadian train tour that was advertised for September. could you please send me more detail re: the trip.. thanks JC Gaydos
Monday, February 13, 2012 8:41:50 AM by Anonymous
How can we get more info on the Sept 2012 train trip to Canada. Advertised this morning but we missed the phone and or web site. Can we get more info.
Monday, February 13, 2012 8:49:36 AM by Anonymous
We saw the commercial for the tour to Canada with Don Webster for Sept 2012 and are very interested. Can we get more info? email to
Thursday, April 05, 2012 12:12:46 PM by Anonymous
wow, how ignorant! maybe the guy was vacationing at a lake or campground and saw webster on a portable tv....ya know??
Thursday, April 19, 2012 8:47:36 PM by ROSEMARY HABEK
What ever happened to the program of Don Webster's called "Quick as a Wink."? It came from Cleveland Ohio every afternoon at 1:00 in the year of 1965? Please answer.
Thanks (I was a contestant on the show and won). Would love to have some info on getting some tapes of this show.
Thursday, April 19, 2012 8:49:29 PM by ROSEMARY HABEK
Friday, December 11, 2015 4:01:11 PM by Pat M
Don hosted Morning Exchage that had a viewer call in session. Someone called in and asked Don if he knew his daughter was getting married that day ! Makes one wonder who walked her down the isle.

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