He attended high school in Webster Groves in suburban Saint Louis, and went on to graduate from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 1982.
In December 2011, it was announced that he would leave Columbia Broadcasting System to join WKYC in Cleveland, Ohio, as a lead anchor, starting in January 2012. Early years Russian Mitchell"s first television job came while he was still in high school, working as a part-time switchboard operator at KTVI in his native Saint Louis. After graduation from Mizzou Mitchell worked as a reporter with Kansas City television station KMBC. Mitchell was later an anchor for WFAA Dallas (1983–1985), reporter at KTVI Saint Louis (1985–1987), and a weekend anchor and reporter for KMOV Saint Louis (1987-1992).
He joined Columbia Broadcasting System News in 1992 as co-anchor of Up to the Minute.
He was a correspondent for Eye to Eye on Columbia Broadcasting System (1993-1995) and anchor of the Columbia Broadcasting System Evening News Sunday (1996–2012), and an original co-anchor on Saturday Early Show from 1997 to 2007. He also substituted for Harry Smith and Mark McEwen on Columbia Broadcasting System This Morning, the predecessor to the Early Show, from 1997 to October 1999.
He later became the primary substitute for Scott Pelley on Columbia Broadcasting System Evening News. In December 2011, it was announced that he would move to Cleveland National Broadcasting Company affiliate WKYC, replacing Romona Robinson.
Said Mitchell of the change: "I"ve been thinking about going back to local television for a few years.
lieutenant"s been a great run at Columbia Broadcasting System, but I miss the pulse of a local newsroom, and, being from the Midwest, I miss being part of a community. But I wasn"t going to go just anywhere. Cleveland reminds me a great deal of the city where I grew up, and I"m looking forward to bringing my family because I think we"re going to have a really good life there." Personal life Mitchell was married to Erica Townsend from 1987 to 2000.
Their daughter Ashley is a college student.
They live in Cleveland, Ohio. 1989: Missouri United Press International, Best Reporter honor.