Doug Banks, Urban Radio Icon, Dies at 57

Doug Banks 2016
Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Doug Banks photographed at Crobar April 20, 2005 in New York City.  

The host of the popular 'The Doug Banks Show' passed away on Monday, reportedly of complications owing to diabetes.

The radio industry is mourning the death of syndicated radio personality Doug Banks, host of the popular The Doug Banks Show. The 57-year-old passed away on Monday (April 11) reportedly of complications owing to diabetes.

“What made Doug so successful is that he was a polished professional but also the average guy,” said Tony Gray, president of Gray Communications. Gray, a radio consultant, first worked with Banks when he hired the syndicated air personality -- through distributor ABC Radio Networks -- to do mornings at mainstream urban station WBLS New York.

“Doug was one of the most talented and most respected personalities in urban radio,” continued Gray. “His passing is a huge loss for Chicago radio.”

At the time of Banks’ passing, his show ran during afternoon drive on iHeartMedia’s Chicago urban adult contemporary WVAZ (V103). Raised in Detroit, Banks got his start at his high school radio station. From there, his professional resume included stints with Los Angeles stations KDAY and KFI, San Francisco’s KDIA and Chicago’s WBMX (now WVAZ) and WGCI. He entered into syndication with ABC in the mid-'90s with The Doug Banks Morning Show, featuring co-host DeDe McGuire. Moving into afternoons in 2008, Banks renamed the show The Ride with Doug and DeDe. Two years later, he partnered with American Urban Radio Networks (AURN) for The Doug Banks Show.

In a statement posted on its website, V103 said, “With a heavy heart our V103 family would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Doug Banks' family and friends. Doug was an inspiration to many … a radio icon in Chicago radio for many years.”

Jerry Lopes, AURN president of program operations and affiliations stated, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his wife Wendy and his daughters Kennede and Kelli. Radio has lost a true legend.”

Among others offering condolences via Twitter were comedian Chris Rock, actresses Gabrielle Union and Holly Robinson Peete, television personality Wendy Williams and McGuire, his former co-worker of 17 years. Now doing mornings at KKDA in Dallas, McGuire wrote, "Today I lost a brother, a friend, a mentor, my teacher, a life changer, a RADIO LEGEND...Doug Banks! I owe much of my success to him.”




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