Seattle Channel host C.R. Douglas is leaving the station next month after 14 years. Douglas, host of the weekly public affairs program “City Inside/Out” and the monthly “Ask The Mayor,” sent an email to colleagues this morning sharing news of his imminent departure.
“After long reflection I’ve decided that it’s time to repot the plant and try something new,” Douglas wrote. “That may be in TV, that may not be.”
Whatever he does next, Douglas said by phone later, it won’t be in politics. “I’m not running for office, and I’m not going to work for the mayor,” Douglas said. “I’m a journalist at heart.” The 45-year old Bellevue native also said he’s definitely staying in Seattle.
Douglas’ TV career began with a “Wayne’s World”-like public affairs show called “Northwest Week,” on Seattle’s public-access cable channel. “My show was on between the religious fortune teller and the nudity,” Douglas said. But “Northwest Week” got noticed by lots of people, and the show got picked up by Tacoma public TV station KBTC. Douglas also got part-time work at the Seattle Channel. His hosting duties for “City Inside/Out” and “Ask The Mayor” began in 2002.
The decision to leave at the end of this season was many years in the making and was made before the recently announced departure of station manager Beth Hester, Douglas says. But, he said the professional partnership he had with Hester makes it easier for Douglas to leave now. “It’s hard to imagine a better professional relationship than what I had with Beth,” Douglas said. Hester is now Mayor Mike McGinn’s director of communications, and a national search is underway to find her replacement at the Seattle Channel.
Douglas said he has no regrets about his TV career. He joked that any gaffes he made on-camera over the years were edited out before the programs aired. He also still smarts over one “get” that got away: a scheduled interview with Jeff Bezos that the Amazon founder called off at the last minute.Acting Seattle Channel station manager Gary Gibson said in an email that the station remains committed to the programs that Douglas hosted. "The Seattle Channel will be looking for a new public affairs producer/host and we plan to continue producing 'City Inside/Out,' 'Ask the Mayor' and other public affairs programming," Gibson wrote.
The final episode of “City Inside/Out” with Douglas in the host chair will air June 17, and Douglas will preside over one more episode of “Ask The Mayor” with McGinn. Between now and then, the Seattle Channel will find out how many Emmy awards Douglas will collect for the station this year. Last year, Douglas won two of the prestigious awards, and he has three nominations for 2011. The awards ceremony will take place early next month.