Brian Douglas, WKRQ-FM’s MVP – most versatile personality – leaves Q102 Friday to take a shot at becoming a full-time photographer.
After moonlighting as the official photographer for “Marauders,” Mariah Carey’s “A Christmas Melody” and Don Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead,” Douglas opened his show at 3 p.m. Thursday by telling listeners his last day is Friday.
“The past 28 years have been the absolute best years of my life. I have been blessed beyond belief to work at Q102 in my hometown of Cincinnati,” said Douglas, who will do some part-time fill-in shifts at Q102, as his schedule permits.
The popular afternoon DJ with Laura Powell had been shifted to mornings with a revolving door of co-hosts before the station hired Jeff Thomas and Jenn Jordan in 2002. Douglas and Powell have been No. 1 in the afternoon Nielsen ratings since 2011 for women ages 25-54, the station's target demographic.
Douglas also is Q102’s music director, winning national recognition from Billboard magazine in 1995 and a new Porsche in 1993 in an Active Industry Research (AIR) contest for predicting how well new records would sell.
He’s always been one of my favorites, because at his core he was a small-town kid who didn’t let success go to his head. He always had a sense of wonderment as he met the biggest music, movie and sports stars. He was personable, friendly and engaging on and off the air, which is why his listeners loved him.
Douglas once told me that “the biggest rush is hearing new music, before anybody hears it.” But in recent years his biggest thrills came from shooting photographs of movies before anyone saw them. His subjects include Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson and B.B. King in concert; country star Zac Brown for a Collings Guitars advertisement in “Guitar Player” magazine; Reds stars Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce; and movie stars Cheadle, Carey, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Meloni, Lacey Chabert and Adrian Grenier.
The Kings High School graduate began seriously pursuing photography about six years ago. His photos of Riverbend concerts and Cate Blanchett filming “Carol" posted on his Brian Douglas Photography website landed him the job as official photographer for “Miles Ahead.” His photo of Cheadle as trumpeter Miles Davis has appeared in the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly.
He credited Cheadle with giving "me my break. I owe him," he told listeners Thursday.
In November he heads to Cleveland to photograph “The Bye Bye Man,” a thriller starring Doug Jones (“Hellboy”) and Lucien Laviscount (“Scream Queens”).
He could return to Q102 "around Christmas," after the Cleveland movie wraps, he said. "This is not a goodbye."
The 1990s local Blessid Union of Souls band, and some national bands, sought his excellent music instincts, asking Douglas to critique new albums before they were released. He has turned down radio jobs in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Atlanta to work and live in his hometown.
Douglas started in radio at WCNW-AM (1560), the Fairfield religious station. Q102 hired him in December 1987. He has paired with Powell for eight years. Q102 will celebrate his radio career before he signs off 7 p.m. Friday.