Morning Jolt: C.R. Douglas Leaving Seattle Channel

By Josh Feit May 16, 2011

This post has been updated with comments from C.R. Douglas.

C.R. Douglas, the outstanding Seattle Channel host—"Ask the Mayor," "City Inside/Out"—announced this morning that he's leaving the civic affairs channel next month.

Douglas, who is the best inquisitor in town (the guy does his homework), did not say what his next gig will be. In an email, Douglas said, "It was a hard decision, but I am ready for a change.  I don't yet know what I'll do next.  Other than take some time off!  I've been hosting a weekly public affairs show of one kind of another (on three different stations) for fourteen years.  I started at public access, if you can believe it (in mid-1997)!!  Back then NO ONE knew my name!!  Then I got some work at the Seattle Channel by the end of that year.  In the fall of 1998 I took the show to KBTC/PBS in Tacoma (channel 22/cable 12) and then moved again to the Seattle Channel full time in 2002. "

Douglas' longtime colleague at Seattle Channel, station GM Beth Hester, left last month to take over as communications director for Mayor Mike McGinn.

Asked about his plans for the future---some at city hall have speculated that he may run or city council, or join Hester in the mayor's office---Douglas told PubliCola via email this morning, "I can say unequivocally that I will NOT be running for City Council and I will NOT be jumping to the Mayor's office!!  Neither position would suit my skill set."

He added that he does not know what he'll do next.

Douglas has been with Seattle Channel since 1997. He's also a fixture on the public forum and debate circuit, emceeing and moderating public discussions for the City Club, the League of Women Voters, the Cascade Land Conservancy, and PubliCola.

We'll do a formal appreciation for Douglas soon enough, but wanted to get the news up.

Here's his farewell email to his colleagues:
Dear Seattle Channel Colleagues:

I am writing to let you, my wonderful co-workers of the last several years, know that I will be heading out the door for a final time at end of this season, next month.  It’s been an amazing run here at the Seattle Channel, but even amazing runs have to come to and end at some point.  Can you say “Oprah“? ;-)  After long reflection I’ve decided that it’s time to repot the plant and try something new.  That may be in TV, that may not be.  We’ll see.  Wish me luck. ;-)

My first appearance on the Seattle Channel was 1997 (wow, what hair I had then!), and  I’ve been more or less full time since 2002.  I’ve never counted the number of programs I’ve hosted or the number of hours I’ve been in front of the camera, but whatever they are, they should be multiplied many times over to come to some estimate of how much time all of you put in over the years keeping me on the air and making me look good.

This departure finds me so proud of what the Channel and the programs I have been a part of have accomplished over my time here, including Emmy Awards and NATOA honors.  But, of course, it also finds me sad, since leaving you all and leaving what I know will be hard.  But sometimes your heart tells you it’s time to move on, and this is one of those occasions.

Til then, there’s a City Inside/Out season to finish.  Our last show will be June 17.  I will also host one final Ask the Mayor program at the end of that month.  Here’s hoping Mike McGinn and the City Council keep giving us topics to talk about for the next several weeks!

I’ll will miss you all so very much.

What else can I say?…That’s a wrap.



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