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WBMX Alumnae Doug Banks Passes

By on April 11, 2016
doug banks wbmx

Doug Banks, an icon in radio and one of the most listened to radio hosts in the Country passed away today..

Doug was born in Detroit and many moons ago, he was doing mornings on WBMX here in Chicago.

WBMX is where house music came from the underground to the FM on the radio in the form of mix shows back in 1981.

Banks joined WBMX in the mid 80’s and in less than a year, Banks & Company along with the radio station topped all Chicago music stations including WGCI for the first time ever. Check out Doug talking the history of house music, WBMX and the Hot Mix 5 as he wished the Godfather, Farley Jackmaster Funk a happy birthday back in 2012 below.

The Doug Banks Radio Show has been syndicated across the U.S. on radio stations around the Country. He was also a regular contributor to the TV show 190 North on ABC affiliate WLS TV channel 7. He was also heard on V103 here in Chicago which is the old WBMX. Check out a post from the family at V102 below.

With a heavy heart our V103 family would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Doug Banks’ family and friends. Doug, a true radio legend, has passed away today.

Doug was an inspiration to many, the “Dan Ryan Head” and a radio icon in Chicago radio for many years. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

We’ve lost a great talent today, a house head and friend in Doug Banks.

Check out an ‘aircheck’ courtesy of HERE.

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.

Doug passed away in April of 2016

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