Doug began his career as a copy boy at the New York Times, and then moved to California to play 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 returned to journalism, working for Associated Press Radio and San Francisco station K-101.
He did a brief stint at KGO before joining KCBS in 1990. Doug covers politics for KCBS, and also does special features and investigations. He also reports occasionally for KPIX-TV Channel 5 and has written for the San Francisco Chronicle.
He has won more than 175 journalism awards, including ten National Headliner Awards, five national Edward R. Murrow Awards, and a record seven Sigma Delta Chi Awards from the national Society of Professional Journalists – more than any other reporter in history. The SPJ has honored Doug for Best Investigative Reporting in America five different times, more than any other journalist in any medium. Doug was also the first three-time winner of the AP TV/Radio Association’s Reporter of the Year Award and has won it four times overall.
Doug has reported for KCBS from such places as New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake and New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attack. 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 the minor ones) since the late 1980s. He has also done award-winning specials for KCBS from China, Africa, Mexico and the Tour de France. An avid outdoorsman, Doug has chronicled some of his adventures on KCBS, including expeditions to 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. And yes, he still plays music! He is the bass player for the increasingly legendary Eyewitness Blues Band, made up of broadcasters from KCBS and CBS-5 TV, and for two other bands as well. 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. He tweets about news at twitter.com/SovernNation. You can also read his political blog, Sovern Nation, at sovernnation.blogspot.com. Doug’s other passions include art, theater, cooking and travel.
Both Oakland and San Francisco are battling over which city the team will call home, as the Warriors are preparing for one of their most promising seasons in years.
The mother of a 16-year-old boy, killed in a traffic accident on Pine Street in San Francisco last month, remains in a coma at San Francisco General Hospital.
With BART and AC Transit workers possibly going on strike, a new analysis shows how much money unions representing transit workers donate to state lawmakers.
Authorities have ruled out foul play in the death of a woman whose body was found in a stairwell at San Francisco General Hospital weeks after she went missing from her hospital bed.
In response to this special series, San Francisco’s Presiding Judge and the state’s Chief Justice are both recommending reforms. KCBS has also learned that one Bay Area district attorney, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, is taking it even one step further, training his attorneys to observe a victim’s Marsy’s rights, even if the victim doesn’t ask for them to be honored.
In response to a KCBS investigation into the violation of victims’ rights in California, the presiding judge in San Francisco is recommending new procedures for the courts to follow. KCBS’ Doug Sovern reports exclusively that the state’s Chief Justice is also asking judges in other counties to consider doing the same.
A KCBS investigation has determined that the rights of California crime victims are often ignored, despite the passage five years ago of a landmark law to protect them.
Crime victims rarely invoke the rights afforded to them under Marsy’s Law, and California prosecutors often ignore those who do insist on the protections that law enshrines in the state constitution.
Under Marsy’s Law, a crime victim in California has the right to be notified of all legal proceedings in a case and address the judge before a defendant makes a plea or is sentenced. All too often, however, victims never get their day in court.
Five years ago, California voters amended the state constitution to create a Victim’s Bill of Rights. But the case of a San Francisco woman, who was attacked outside a BART station, raises questions about how well that law is working. And, an investigation by KCBS reporter Doug Sovern suggests this is not an isolated case.