Fred Douglas got his first taste of broadcasting by working at the student-run radio station at Olivet College. He got hooked shortly thereafter during a brief stint delivering the news at the former WOWE radio station in his hometown of Allegan, and his career took off when he was barely out of his teens and got a job as a reporter for WKZO radio and television in Kalamazoo. Although a departure from his music and political science studies at Olivet and Western Michigan University, the news business appealed to Douglas and he put his education on permanent hold.
"It's sort of like a dalmatian in a fire truck; it's hard to walk away from," Douglas, 70, said during a recent interview, 50 years after launching a 25-year career at WKZO, 20 years of which he was news director for both the radio and television stations.
When Douglas began, John Fetzer owned both the radio and television stations. Douglas signed off for the last time 25 years later in March 1986 after Fetzer sold them and the television call letters were changed to today's WWMT-TV. He went to work as community services director for Consumers Energy, which was then Consumers Power Co. After five years, he returned to WKZO radio, then owned by Fetzer associate Carl Lee, and helped in the conversion of the station to a 24-hour news format... Where is he now? Catching up with Kalamazoo radio and TV personality Fred Douglas (Mon, 3/28)