Donna Rossi

Donna is a reporter’s reporter. After spending four years as a Phoenix police officer, Donna decided to change careers and become a journalist in 1987. After attending ASU and working as an intern at KOOL-TV in Phoenix, Donna moved to Flagstaff in 1989 where she became the assignment editor, reporter and news anchor for KNAZ-TV NBC 2. While working full-time at KNAZ, Donna also graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University with a degree in broadcast journalism.  In 1992, Donna moved to Tucson, where she worked as the weekend anchor and weekday reporter for KOLD-TV CBS 13, for two years.

Donna joined KPHO-TV CBS 5 in 1994, and covered many of the highest profile stories in the state. She covered the 1999 sleepwalking murder trial of Scott Falater, the 2004 trial of Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas O’Brien for a fatal hit and run accident and the two Jodi Arias murder trials. Donna also spent two straight weeks in northeastern Arizona during the summer of 2011 covering the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history. Donna was also instrumental in bringing to the forefront the issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in law enforcement with a series of first-hand accounts from officers who trusted her to tell their stories. That series was helpful in getting a new state law on the books to better protect law officers with PTSD.

Donna is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of NATAS. She is a member of IFP/Phoenix, a non-profit organization of local film and documentary makers. She has won more than a dozen Arizona Associated Press awards and five Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards. In 2015, Donna was inducted into the Silver Circle.

After 29-years in broadcast journalism Donna retired in February 2018. Later that year, she was inducted into the Arizona Broadcaster’s Association Hall of Fame.

Donna currently (2019) works as a Communications Director for a police department in a city west of Phoenix. Her efforts there focus on community engagement and helping bridge the gap between the department and the community. She is also an adjunct faculty member of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Before becoming a police officer, Donna was an employee of Eastern Onion singing telegram service. One evening in January 1980, a customer asked that a “Gorilla-gram” be sent to someone attending a Phoenix Suns game at the Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum. Donna was not working that night, so her co-worker, Henry Rojas, went instead. Rojas’ appearance at the game, especially when he danced to music during a timeout, caused quite a sensation. Rojas was invited back to subsequent Suns’ games and eventually became “The Gorilla.” We will never know what would have happened had Donna been working at Eastern Onion that night in January 1980, but her broadcast colleagues and TV news viewers throughout Arizona are grateful for her career path.

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