O'Donnell first joined Birmingham magazine's staff in 1961. He stepped down in 2009 shortly before the publisher, the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce completed its merger with Region 2020 and the Metropolitan Development Board.
- Williams, Roy L. (July 11, 2009) "Long-time Birmingham, Alabama Chamber of Commerce magazine editor Joe O'Donnell steps down." Birmingham News
- Williams, Roy L. (August 8, 2009) "Alabama's Birmingham Magazine names Julie Keith as new editor." Birmingham News
- Williams, Roy L. (August 23, 2009) "It is a nervous time." Birmingham News