WSIL anchor Dave Davis is more than just a voice
May 26, 2023
From a chance encounter at a rodeo, to the mixed martial arts (MMA), to the local news, Dave Davis has made his voice heard, captivating audiences with its sonorous tones.
“He’s super good. He does a lot of things good to be honest. He isn’t like a one trick pony,” said Josh Griggs, who is his former boss and remains his friend.
Lane Davis, who is his oldest son said, “Seeing my dad beat absolutely every odd that has been stacked against him and just putting absolutely every bit of effort that he has into everything has shown me that if you really work hard enough and you really want something bad enough that you can do it.”
Dave Davis grew up listening to the radio and he fell in love with it. He admired the announcers and had an interest in announcing but had no vision of how to get into it.
He and his friends from high school saw the movie “8 Seconds” when it came out in 1994 and concluded that they wanted to try bull riding. They dove right into it, but Dave Davis didn’t think it was his forte.
While behind the chutes one day, his stentorian voice caught the ear of the rodeo announcer passing by. In a gesture of kindness, the rodeo announcer invited him to the booth and tutored him in the craft of announcing. With occasional opportunities to stand in for the announcer, Dave Davis gained valuable experience in the field.
As fate would have it, the rodeo announcer found himself overbooked and sought the aid of Dave Davis in hosting one of his shows. With determination, he assumed the role and soon found himself inundated with requests to showcase his talents. This marked the beginning of his flourishing career in announcing. While he intermittently indulged in rodeo announcing, he eventually felt a decrease in its popularity.
He transitioned to a position at WGGH radio, where he acquired the art of creating and editing commercials with finesse.
“I was like ‘This is awesome’ because I loved radio. I still love the radio,” Dave Davis said.
He also started a podcast “The Dave Davis Show” that introduced his name to the world.
“Whatever he gets into, he has this mentality of, I am going to move up in this company and absolutely nothing will stop me. You can not stop him from getting better,” Griggs said.
He made a lot of connections through his podcast and received a request to announce MMA.
Dave Davis said, “What is MMA?”
His friend wanted him to announce the MMA shows he put on locally.
He said, “I don’t know anything about it but typical Dave fashion, I said, ‘Let’s go for it’ and I did.”
He then decided to remove his podcast from the eye of the public because he didn’t want those two worlds colliding. He worked for that friend for a year and a half and by that time he had six other companies he announced for. Two years in, he had over 20 different companies he announced for.
“I was blown away when I first heard him. When I saw him on YouTube, I was assuming I wouldn’t be able to afford him because of how good he is. I am not just saying this because he is my friend, this is the truth. He is as good as the best ring announcer in the world,” Griggs said.
Dave Davis was a very accomplished announcer and he put his heart into it. He won Spire Announcer of the Year multiple years in a row.
He was asked to be the first American to announce at an all-Brazilian company and even learned Portuguese on his plane ride there, well enough to announce the show.
“Watching that show, I felt so proud of my dad and proud to have him as my dad in that moment,” Lane Davis said.
Dave Davis said, “I was doing 50 weekends a year and some weekends I’d have two fights on completely different coasts. I was just all over the place.”
He felt as though he had accomplished what he wanted to with his announcing career and wanted to focus more on being at home with his kids on the weekends. This is when his journalism career began.
He still announced full-time on the weekends at the time, but he heard WSIL needed someone to run their live truck. He was bored throughout the week, and he had interest in doing it, but he didn’t know anything about it. So, he went and spoke with the guy in charge. He was asked to do the job and he agreed to do it part-time. That winter he ended up doing over 270 live shots.
He said, “So much for part-time, right?”
He announced and ran the live truck for six years before completely diving into his journalism career.
“When I was on the way back from a big fight and I was looking at my paycheck and it was a really good paycheck, but I felt so empty and worthless. I felt like I had done nothing to change the world. And then I started reflecting on the news and how there are so many times I have left thinking we did something good today for the world,” he said.
He felt like he had found his niche.
“And I fell in love with it. I fell in love with taking care of people, protecting them, making them laugh, informing them, and most of all, being a person that they can trust,” he explained.
This was the moment he realized what he wanted to do next in his life. He felt like his experience in announcing had prepared him for his future in journalism.
“It gives you very thick skin. Fans of MMA are crude. So, there’s really not a whole lot that a viewer can say. So, it allows me to be very straight forward and genuine with people regardless of what kind of backlash I’m gonna get,” Dave Davis said.
He has reported on numerous memorable and important stories and events including four trump rallies, the recent Mayfield, Kentucky, tornado, a missing child case, many fires, and police shoot outs.
“If you leave that guy in a place long enough, he will literally climb to the top and you can’t stop him. That’s one of the things I really like about Dave is his drive. If he says he’s gonna do something, it’s done. It is just a matter of time,” Griggs said.
This rings true as Dave Davis has climbed the ladder over the years and is currently the morning news anchor at WSIL News 3.
“Our show has grown a lot since Dave has moved into that role,” Nick Hausen said, who is the Meteorologist Dave Davis works alongside. “There’s a lot of stories that again, Dave brings to the table into our morning meeting that we’re going to report on that day or morning that we would miss without him.”
He works long hours starting as early as two in the morning and he still whole-heartedly loves what he does.
“He’s a real hard worker,” Lane Davis said.
Dave Davis goes above and beyond his duties as news anchor “everyday”. There have been days he has worked 12 hours, and then went and reported on a story because there was no one else to do it.
Hausen said, “There’s very few people I respect as much as what I respect Dave.”
When Dave Davis decides to quit and move on to his next adventure in life it will be “a huge loss” to their show at WSIL News 3. For now, his plans are to stick around and make an impact.
“I think for me, my goal right now is to build up a team of winners. I want everybody that works with me on my morning show, to not only just be winners and number one on my morning show, but wherever they go in life, like it makes me really happy,” Dave Davis said.
He wants to be remembered for his “honesty” while working at WSIL.
He said, “I think that I was genuine and honest and had the viewers best interest at hand. I really like to take care of people and protecting them and informing them, giving them a laugh when they need a laugh, or being real with people. That’s probably the way I stay positive is knowing that I have an impact.”