NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A WAVY-TV legend received a major award Thursday night.

Don Roberts, who just retired last September after more than three decades on air at WAVY, was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Society of Professional Journalists during a ceremony at Norfolk State University’s Wilder Center.

Here’s what SPJ had to say about Don:

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Don relocated to Hampton Roads in 1981 to accept a job with WAVY-TV 10 as a reporter. He would leave WAVY-TV 10 and work at WTKR-TV as well as several other outlets before returning to WAVY-TV for good in 1989 when he launched WAVY News 10 Today.

While he retired in September 2022, he still holds the record for the longest tenured news anchor on a singular broadcast in Hampton Roads television history. For three decades, Don awoke before the sunrise from his Newport News home to drive to Portsmouth to deliver the news, even the bad, with a smile and integrity.

Don has served as a role model and mentor for countless other up and coming broadcasters. Don took the time to spotlight our region’s children in foster care in a segment called “Wednesday’s Child.” Don introduced us all to children in foster care waiting for adoption and children hoping to be matched with adult volunteer mentors. On top of his duties on TV, Don made it his mission to try and disrupt the cycle of violence in our community by launching the Chess Nutz Knights Network in 2017.

Don has spent countless hours at Newport News Juvenile Services as well as the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office playing chess and mentoring incarcerated teens.

Society of Professional Journalists