Doug McKnight

Senior Adviser, Reporter and Host

Doug joined KAZU in 2004 as Development Director overseeing fundraising and grants. He was promoted to General Manager in 2009 and is currently retired and working part time in membership fundraising and news reporting at KAZU.

Prior to joining KAZU, Doug worked in television news in Detroit, San Francisco, San Jose and Monterey and served briefly as General Manager at channel 46. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Broadcast Communications from Michigan State University and a MBA from St. Mary’s College. Doug was President of the Northern California News Directors Association for two years and served on its board for 10 years. He also served on the board of the California First Amendment Coalition and the Jane Pauley Task Force on Journalism Education. 

Doug McKnight / KAZU News

The embers of last year’s fire season in California have died out, but the memories of that horrible time are still fresh. As this year’s fire season begins, homeowners throughout the state are now looking for ways to protect their most valuable possession. 

Doug McKnight

The farmer’s market in downtown Monterey is back after a 15-month closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's the longest running farmers market in Monterey County and like an old friend, when it reopened, it picked up right where it left off.

Doug McKnight


Demand for COVID-19 vaccinations in California has reached a turning point. Gone are the days when people repeatedly hit refresh on their computers, hoping to score a vaccination appointment. Now some clinics are accepting walk-ins and others end the day with unfilled appointments. That’s forcing health and government officials to rethink their vaccination programs.

Brandt Bates

It’s been another dry year in California. Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a drought emergency in two northern California counties and the Sierra snowpack is well below normal. All that does not bode well for this summer’s wildfire season. To get a sense of what to expect this year, KAZU’s Doug McKnight spoke with Cal Fire Battalion Chief Issac Sanchez. 

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

With the arrival of spring, California is showing some green shoots of normal in its yearlong battle with the COVID-19 virus. The Monterey Bay Aquarium announced it will reopen in May. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, also closed for much of the year, opens April 1.

Douglas McKnight

After what feels like a year-long slumber, the Monterey Bay area is beginning to reawaken. COVID-19 infections are falling, vaccinations are increasing and businesses are reopening.

Pinkie Weesner

Wednesday, February 24 is Pink Shirt Day. It’s a day when people around the country are asked to wear something pink in an effort to raise awareness about bullying. In Monterey County, bullying affects one out of 5 students in some schools.

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula



The Monterey County Board of Supervisors tried to clear up any misunderstandings about the timing and rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations this week.  At its regular meeting, the Board heard from various groups involved in the rollout who said they’re ready, they just need more doses of vaccine. KAZU’S Doug McKnight attended the meeting and spoke with KAZU's Erika Mahoney about the county’s plans.

Doug McKnight

A Pacific Grove police officer placed on administrative leave for allegedly posting racist comments on social media is no longer employed at the department. It marked the second time he was investigated and put on administrative leave within the past eight months. 


UPDATED Dec. 22, 1:30 p.m. Governor Gavin Newsom selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ Senate seat on December 22, 2020, after the following story aired. It’s a historic choice as Padilla will be the first Latino senator to represent California.

Doug McKnight

If passed, Measure Y would increase the hotel tax in the City of Monterey by 2 percent beginning January 1. The measure is popular among neighborhood groups, which would receive 16% of the new tax revenue, but not so popular among city hotels.

Erika Mahoney

California’s 29th Assembly District covers the entire coastline of the Monterey Bay as well as a good portion of southern San Jose. In this election, a four-term incumbent is running against a political newcomer. 

Doug McKnight

This week marks the High Holy Days in the Jewish religion, stretching from Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which begins Sunday evening. It comes at a time when people of all faiths are restricted in worshiping together indoors. California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. It has forced congregations to rediscover what it means to be communities of faith.

Doug McKnight

California American Water customers will see their bills drop by 10 to 15%, but they will have to wait to see it happen. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted 4 to 1 Thursday to eliminate a surcharge, known as WRAM.

CZU Lightning Complex Fire Santa Cruz evacuees
Hannah Hagemann

Progress is being made on the CZU Lightning Complex Fire burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz Counties. The fire is now 19% percent contained after burning over 80,100 acres, as of Wednesday morning. KAZU’s Hannah Hagemann is covering the fire, which has burned over 520 structures in Santa Cruz County so far. She spoke with KAZU’s Doug McKnight on Tuesday.

CZU Lightning Complex Fire Santa Cruz
CHP Santa Cruz

Wildfires have forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate across the Central Coast. Law enforcement officers are working overtime to protect the homes and businesses they left behind. In hard hit Santa Cruz County, looting has led multiple arrests.

Stock Photo by Giorgio Trovato Via Unsplash


Most schools in Santa Cruz and Monterey County start in August. Classes will begin online as districts grapple with how to teach in a pandemic. The decision to open with distance learning favors student and teacher safety, but comes with challenges and sacrifice. 

Rachael Ramirez


As California grapples with the balance between public health and economic recovery, businesses across the state are beginning to reopen with new regulations. Many business owners are finding that reopening is a lot harder than shutting down; the road back to normal is filled with red flags, red tape and a lot of red ink.


Earlier this spring, the California State University system announced it will hold most fall classes online. Online classes existed at CSU before the pandemic, but never on this scale. Now many in academia are wondering if virtual classes are a short-term solution or a long-term trend.

Lee Hicks Photography

Of all of the Monterey County residents facing challenges from the coronavirus, its homeless are among the most vulnerable. For them, even normal times are difficult. Yet now, the pandemic and the shelter-in-place orders have put homeless people at even greater risk.