We mourn the loss of syndicated on-air personality, Doug Banks. Banks a longtime radio veteran died early this morning, according to close sources. He has dealt with a long battle with diabetes and continued to advocate to his listeners on the importance of getting updated doctor check-ups. The Doug Banks show thrilled and entertained Chicago listeners from Monday thru Friday from 2pm-6pm on WVAZ-FM/iHeartradio for the past few years.
The Philadelphia-born, Detroit-raised Doug Banks began his radio career as an on-air personality for his high school’s radio station. Local station WDRQ took note of his talent and hired him for a temporary late-night weekend disc jockey spot. Even though he was the youngest DJ, he quickly earned a permanent position. After high school, Doug turned a six-week trial into a multi-year position at KDAY in Los Angeles.
His next LA stop was KFI, which was the stepping-stone to his first Morning show slot in Las Vegas at KLAV-AM. Next was KDIA-AM in San Francisco, followed by Chicago at WBMX (now WVAZ), where he took the Morning show from a 1.8 share to a healthy 5.6, beating rival WGCI.
After much success in the mornings, Doug was offered the opportunity to do a nationally syndicated show. The Doug Banks Morning Show, hosted by Banks along with DeDe McGuire, rose to become one of the top-rated syndicated urban programs in America. Each week, millions of listeners tuned in to hear some of the most creative and innovative programming on the airwaves.
In 2008, Banks re-launched his nationally syndicated morning show in afternoon drive under the new name ‘The Ride with Doug and DeDe.’ In 2010, Doug’s show again found a new home with American Urban Radio Networks, changing it’s name back to ‘The Doug Banks Show.’ The show’s flagship station is WVAZ in Chicago and airs in many markets across the county.
Over the years, Doug has received numerous radio awards, including being honored at the 12th Annual Living Legends Foundation Gala in New York City for his outstanding achievements and contributions as a trailblazer in the radio entertainment community. With his strong track record of assisting various grassroots organizations, Doug has also been successful in reaching out to and mobilizing the Urban community.
In January 2006, in collaboration with Disney and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, he launched The Doug Banks Literacy & Scholarship Initiative. The program supports the development of a fully literate American population by raising awareness about illiteracy and getting the private sector actively involved in supporting literacy across the country.
We send our prayers and condolences to his family, friends, industry colleagues and millions of loyal listeners that he touched over the last three decades. Doug Banks was the highest standard of professionalism in the radio broadcast industry. He will be missed.