Doug Sovern began his journalism career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then, after college, moved to Berkeley to play bass in a rock band. After hundreds of gigs, an indie album and a whole lot of session work failed to make him a rock star, Doug pursued his journalism career, as a reporter, anchor and talk show host at K101FM in San Francisco and as Northern California correspondent for Associated Press Radio.
After a brief stint at KGO Radio, Doug joined KCBS Radio in 1990, and is now the senior member of our reporting staff. Since 2006, Doug has been Political Reporter and since 2020 has hosted “The State of California,” a daily interview segment and podcast on politics and public policy. Doug also does special features and investigations, and has appeared as a guest political TV commentator on KPIX, CBS, CBSN, BBC, CBC, Australian TV and numerous local TV affiliates throughout California. He has also written for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Doug has won more than 250 journalism awards, including a duPont-Columbia Award Special Citation, 16 National Headliner Awards, a dozen national Edward R. Murrow Awards, and eight national Sigma Delta Chi Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. The SPJ has honored him for Best Investigative Reporting six different times, more than any other journalist in any medium. He has also won the Associated Press TV/Radio Association’s Best Radio Reporter of the Year Award five times, and has won the Gracie Award, Ohio State University Award, John Swett Award and California Journalism Award. He is a perennial fixture on the Washington Post’s “Best Political Reporters” list.
Doug reported for KCBS Radio from New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attack, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. He covered the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the 1991 East Bay Firestorm and the Los Angeles riots in 1992. He has covered countless elections and interviewed every major presidential candidate (and a lot of minor ones) since the late 1980s, except Donald Trump. He has also done award-winning specials for KCBS from China, Africa, Mexico, El Salvador and the Tour de France. An avid outdoorsman, Doug has chronicled some of his adventures on KCBS Radio, including climbing expeditions on Everest and Kilimanjaro and bike rides across California, Alaska, Texas and Vietnam for AIDS and cancer charities.
Doug was born in New York City, raised in Manhattan and Wisconsin, and has a degree in History from Brown University. He lives in Oakland with his wife, Dr. Sara Newmann, their twins and their dog. And yes, he still plays music! He is the bass player for the Eyewitness Blues Band, made up of broadcasters from KCBS Radio and KPIX-5 TV. He also plays with other local bands and singer-songwriters and in 2019 released the album “Kinds of Blue” with renowned guitarists Henry Kaiser and Owen Maercks and jazz drummer extraordinaire Scott Amendola.
Doug also writes songs, poetry and short stories, and has made several short films (he has a short attention span). In 2011, he wrote a first-of-its-kind novel on Twitter called "TweetHeart," which is archived at www.tweetnovel.com. His short stories have been published in more than fifteen literary journals and magazines, have been honored by Narrative and Zoetrope: All-Story, and have been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and the Best of the West. He is currently writing a novel, a literary political thriller. From 2015-2020, Doug hosted a monthly reading series in Oakland, THERE, showcasing the Bay Area’s best and most promising writers. He is also a voracious Tweeter. He tweets breaking news, politics, sports and more at @SovernNation. You can learn more about his various pursuits at www.dougsovern.com.