Doug Banks Morning Show Ends

Pulled from syndication after 12-year run

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After a nearly 12-year run, The Doug Banks Morning Show was pulled from syndication by ABC Radio Networks earlier this month. It had aired in more than 50 markets and consistently ranked in the No. 1 or No. 2 spots for its timeslot.

However, Banks launched a new radio show for ABC on Jan. 11(national syndication begins Jan. 14) called The Doug Banks & DeDe McGuire Show, which will air on WVAZ-FM in Chicago.

Some experts say the cancellation of Banks’ syndicated program reflects the troubled state of radio. “In addition to the poor economy, the radio industry is struggling to find ways to compete with new media such as the Internet,” says Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers magazine, an industry trade publication covering talk media. There is also a glut of syndicated programs. “Most radio stations have more syndicated programs than local programming. There are actually more programs produced for syndication than places to air them.”

“It’s cheaper to run a syndicated show in a market than it is to hire a local announcer. The station gets the added benefit of having a celebrity who brings with him or her immediate recognition and listener loyalty,” says Kevin Ross, founder of

But black radio faces added obstacles. Shows such as The Doug Banks Morning Show, says Harrison, are viewed by advertisers as niche programming unable to reach a broad market. “[Advertisers] are still using the old method of determining where to place ad dollars,” he notes. “They are looking at the number of people a show attracts rather than the culture of the show, the host’s relationship with the listeners, and if they act to buy based on what they hear on the show.”

Ross says the blame doesn’t lay with advertisers alone. He says besides declining advertising, black radio has failed to reinvent itself. “I’d like to see urban radio be more progressive. We’re pretty much doing the same thing today we were doing 10 years ago,” he says. “One of my greatest concerns is the lack of new blood in the programming departments. Urban radio has recycled the same program directors for the last two decades. Urban radio stations are also missing an incredibly viable tool by continuing to ignore the Internet and their Websites. The station’s Website could be such a great tool for additional branding, listener participation, client benefits and most important a revenue generator.”

  • bob steele

    it’s funny how totally missing from the article was any black owner who is gulity of playing in the corporate radio culture that is destroying it, not to mention their lake of challenging the corporate system they play in and continues to fail them, then in return the listener is failed by the owner.

  • Radio conglomerates and station owners seem to think that African-Americans want to laugh, joke and bob their heads to the beat in the morning rather than to listen to progressive radio that is both entertaining and enlightening at the same time. While there’s nothing wrong with playing music during the morning show, it shouldnt be the main course. There are many talented progressive talk radio personalities such as myself who don’t get a break because we are not celebrities already in some other genre and we don’t bring the ratings they seek because we haven’t been given a chance to prove ourselves. Whoopi Goldberg, Monique and many other celebrities have proven that just because you are a comedian or singer or actor doesn’t mean your popularity will transcend to a radio show. Program directors who dont think outside the box is only part of the problem. The overriding problem is that station owners want instant success and are not willing to field new unknown talent and give them a chance to grow a show. There is a wealth of talent out there that needs to be tapped into. Otherwise we will always have “Paternity Test Tuesday” as part of the fare offered by urban morning shows.