Longtime radio and TV personality Doug Banks has passed away at the age of 57. The Chicago-based DJ who long with Reach Media personality Tom Joyner formed the two pillars of national Urban radio syndication, died on Monday, April 11 at his home in Florida due to complications from diabetes and kidney failure. Banks made his last public appearance in Chicago on Friday, April 8 at the Black Women’s Expo.
Born in Philadelphia, Banks began his broadcasting career on his high school’s radio station in Detroit, Michigan. He then moved on to host radio shows at stations in L.A., Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Detroit and finally back to Chicago before signing on to do a nationally syndicated show.
“He was one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known,” Marv Dyson, a longtime friend and former president and general manager of WGCI FM 107.5 and WVAZ FM in Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune. WVAZ was the flagship station of the Ride With Doug and DeDe Show, which later became the Doug Banks Radio Show on American Urban Radio Networks. “The money and the fame never changed him one iota. And he had that special gift of making every listener feel like he was only taking to them. On the air and off the air, he was always just a normal guy.”
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.”
DeDe McGuire, his former co-worker of 17 years, now doing mornings at KKDA in Dallas, 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.”
Banks is survived by two college aged daughters and two adult children. A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 16 at Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home & Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas.