(KAIT) - An Emmy award-winning journalist, Diana Davis is the senior news anchor and reporter at KAIT-TV. Diana has been honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with their Silver Circle award recognizing television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the industry for 25 years or more. Her experience and knowledge of Region 8 have enabled her to help in times of crisis such as when Jonesboro was hit by an EF3 tornado in March 2020.
Her passion for reporting began in high school when she started writing for her hometown newspaper, The Raytown Post. She became the editor of her high school newspaper and went on to graduate with a degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications in Lawrence, Kansas.
As a student, she worked for Lawrence Sunflower Cable and interned at KCMO Radio 81 in Kansas City, Missouri—the same radio station where Walter Cronkite was offered his first broadcast job. Diana was hired by WIBW-TV in Topeka as a weekend reporter/news anchor during her senior year of college. She went full-time after graduation as a general assignment reporter covering plane crashes, a tornado, and a kidnapping that led to the tragic murders of nearly an entire family.
As Diana was preparing for an evening newscast, a phone call came to her from a station in Jonesboro, Arkansas. KAIT-TV was looking for an evening news anchor. Then General Manager Harold Culver asked if she would send a copy of the newscast she was about to anchor that evening, and the rest is history.
Diana came to KAIT in 1989 at the age of 24. Fun fact: her daughter, Destiny Quinn, would also join the TV station at the same age nearly 30 years later.
Here at KAIT, Diana established herself as an investigative reporter winning her first award from the Arkansas Associated Press on attempted efforts by the state to downsize Arkansas’ Human Development Centers for individuals with intellectual disabilities. She has since earned more than a dozen such awards for a variety of stories involving the struggle of families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease to the re-discovery of German prisoner of war camps from World War II in Region 8.
Medical reporting is a central focus for Diana. She has taken us into the operating room several times for stories on procedures like open-heart surgery and even her own ACL repair. She has brought us much-talked-about eye-opening reports. Diana and a photographer surprised would-be thieves as they attempted to steal from a charity’s donation bin.
Diana has also unraveled red tape that crippled Arkansas’ adoption system. That report led to top-level DHS officials answering for their actions in front of lawmakers here in Region 8. She went from being a reporter to providing information for the state panel looking into the allegations.
Diana was also the first broadcaster on the air the day tragedy gripped Northeast Arkansas when four students and a teacher were gunned down during the Westside shooting. She was in charge of dispatching the news crews that covered that horrific time in our community’s history. Late into the night and early morning, she would report for us and media groups as far away as the BBC in Wales, London, and Dublin.
Diana has received recognition from the Arkansas Associated Press, the Jonesboro Classroom Teachers Association, the American Cancer Society, the Arkansas Chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, AY Magazine’s Most Powerful Women of Arkansas of 2014 and named to Arkansas Business and Politics’ 2019 Class of Northeast Arkansas Women in Business honorees.
Diana is a life member of the Junior Auxiliary of Jonesboro and served on the National Public Relations board of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries, Inc. She received NAJA’s coveted Betty W. Robbins Volunteer of the Year Award and was recognized in their national magazine for service as “Pearls In Our Crown.”
She has been voted “Best Television Personality” by readers of Occasions Magazine, “Best Under the Sun” TV reporter by the Jonesboro Sun, and “Best of NEA” by listeners of the Jonesboro Radio Group.
Quite often you will find her serving as a moderator for political debates. Diana has served in that capacity during gubernatorial races, and those involving candidates for U.S. Senate/House of Representatives, all the way to local mayoral races.
A dedicated volunteer, Diana works every year to coordinate KAIT’s effort, along with the United Way of Greater Jonesboro, Jonesboro Radio Group and CRDC, to gather school supplies for children in need as part of “Stuff the Bus.” Diana has served on the executive boards of the Foundation of Arts, CASA, the March of Dimes, the National Youth Sports at ASU, the Literacy League of Craighead County, the Society of Professional Journalists and Ryan White Consortium for District V.
But, the most important role Diana has enjoyed is that of being a mother to her children, Destiny and Will. She has juggled her career with raising children and shared their growing up years with viewers along the way. Destiny’s earliest days were shared on-air as part of a special series highlighting the importance of prenatal care called “Project Baby.”
Destiny is now a second-generation news anchor. She started her career as a reporter at KAIT after graduating from Arkansas State University. She became an anchor on Good Morning Region 8, worked for two years as morning anchor of “Tucson Today” in Arizona and is now headed to Gray Media station, WKYT in Lexington, Kentucky, to anchor morning the show there.
It was during Destiny’s time in the newsroom that Diana really became “Mom” to other young reporters. She enjoys being the one they come to for help and loves being known affectionately as their “TV Mom.”
Diana’s son, Will, is a senior at Jonesboro High School and has found success as a young singer-songwriter on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify. He likes playing basketball, football, golf, and running track.
After over 34 years of reporting and anchoring, Diana still finds new stories of inspiration as she introduces us to monthly winners in First Community Bank and KAIT’s “Gr8 Acts of Kindness.” She looks to serve Region 8 with continued accuracy and accountability.
If you have a story you’d like to share with her, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.