Local Radio Legend Doug Hoerth Dies

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Longtime Pittsburgh talk host Doug Hoerth has died. 

Police tell NewsRadio 1020 KDKA that they were summoned to Hoerth’s Bellevue apartment Tuesday night at the request of the building manager who could not make contact with Hoerth.  When they entered the apartment, they found him dead inside.

Hoerth worked for KDKA-AM during two different stints in the 1980s and also appeared on a number of other radio stations in the market.  Hoerth was also a frequent guest on the PCNC cable network.

Hoerth, known affectionately as “Uncle Dougie” to his fans, was 66.

Listen to Mike Pintek talk with Tom Clendening, Doug’s old program director from WTAE-AM, about his experiences with Doug.


One Comment

  1. Tim says:

    He was great, one of the best ever in Pittsburgh. We will miss you “Uncle Dougie”.

  2. Andy says:

    I missed him when he left 1360. Always managed to fiind a place to call home. He left a mark in Pittsburgh however excentric you found him.

    1. Andy Can't Spell says:


      1. Jen says:

        Andy Can’t Spell is a jerk.

  3. Tom says:

    Absolutely the best interviewer I have ever listened to. The pie recipe lady had to be the funniest thing I ever heard on the radio. God Bless Doug …

    1. karen arlet says:

      OMG I remember the Pie lady! Do you remembner her name? I think it was an important part of the bit. MRS ????

  4. greg x st says:

    Very well-rounded, funny, superbly entertaining … and a great interviewer, too. Yes, we’ve missed him all along, and now forever. So long, Uncle Dougie …

  5. Karen P says:

    Will miss you Doug. R.I.P.

  6. Bill says:

    Great frame of reference regarding life, sports and pop cultural ideosyncracies. I.m truely saddened that he died alone.

  7. Tommie says:

    listened to him everyday.. funniest host ever.. his interview with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan was pure rib-splitting laughter, God Bless you Uncle Douggie!!

  8. Mary Saunders says:

    I listened to him everyday from 4 to 6 when he was on. He would only be on until 5 during the winter due to the power at the station. I missed him then and always thought that he would be back on the radio again. Bellevue won’t be the same without him. Rest in peace Uncle Dougie.

  9. Shawn says:

    This man definitely did radio differently than anyone I ever heard in Pittsburgh. Many fans from my family.

  10. Charla says:

    I listened to Doug Hoerth on every radio station where he worked in Pittsburgh. He had the BEST Oldies show on WJAS every Sunday night. He was a fountain of information. Sorry to learn of his passing. We moved to South Carolina and I lost track of him and the radio stations, but I read the news online each day.
    God Bless Doug Hoerth and all who loved him!

  11. Gary says:

    One of the best hosts in the radio business who could have had larger audience shares in larger markets but chose to stay near the city he loved. He was the best prepared interviewer a guest could ask for; and perhaps more importantly, had a gift for making both his listeners and guests feel like an integral part of his shows. He may have been considered eccentric but he sure was a Pittsburgh original and I am proud to have known him for too short a time. May choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest Uncle Dougie.

  12. pmo says:

    I listened to doug while at work for years, you will be missed uncle douggie, what a great outpouring of love for him. i have wondered over the years if he had gone back to jersey or some other market.

  13. James Satler says:

    I always held out hope that Doug would resume his radio career in Pittsburgh. He will be missed. God bless you Doug.

  14. sadie says:

    So sorry to hear of Doug’s passing. He was truly a great radio personality. Knew his stuff. Always thought he would show up somewhere. wonder if he ever wrote the book he talked about? Such a shame he was alone.

  15. Jim and Linda Guentner says:

    I have been listening to Doug since he started in Pittsburgh. His show was the best radio talk show ever. He was funny, informative and very entertaining. I feel saddened at his passing. I’ll always remember his story about Don Ho and Eulio Englases being the Italian brothers who had facial surgery. He surely will be missed. (jim)

    I was a guest on one of Doug’s Friday afternoon shows with another woman and two men. This in 2001 right after 911 tragedy. It was wonderful being a part of the show and meeting Doug in person. He made you feel so at ease and was really interested in your contribution to the broadcast. My husband, a professional artist, gave him a print of one of his Pittsburgh Paintings. Doug really showed his gratitutde.

    Good-by Uncle Dougy

  16. Shannon Nutt says:

    We all hope to see you again someday Dougie, “good lord willing and the creek don’t rise.”

  17. Misty Doy says:

    See ya on the other side Uncle Dougie–be the good Lord willin’ and the creeks don’t rise.

  18. Mr. B says:

    From his story about the YMCA “WALL GIRLS” in Bellevue to the stories of his being a recovering alcolohic. From his on air antics with Clarence to his visits to Eat N Park. Doug was always informative and humorous and was never affraid to tell you how he felt or thought about people or situations. You became a Pittsburgher by the way you were..,naturally.. by being you! You were missed when you left the airwaves and you are missed today.Heres to you Doug in your final “gun lap hour”.

  19. Matt says:

    OMG I forgot about WPTT’s signal going out when the sun went down. So many good memories of Doug. What incredible recall.

  20. Tom says:


    I loved when Uncle Dougie would do his interviews.
    When he interviewed Bruno S. I pulled off the road so I could listen to there stories. They both laughed and you thought you were sitting beside them in a room just listening to priceless moments in time.

    Also, when he had that wonderful women on each Friday with her home-made, helpful hints, you laughed out loud listening to some of her theories.
    He loved what he did, and I’m glad he did it so I could enjoy his work.

    RIP Uncle Dougie, you always made my day a better one while I listened to you.

  21. Ray says:

    Outrageously entertaining, knew his facts better than any other and if he didn’t know he could convince you to doubt the truth . He put high profile, high paid interviewers to shame with his poignant and meaningful interviews. Was passionate about Oldies, The Godfather. Was often too naughty on air for his own good but that was Uncle Dougie. Doug often talked of having to “Go to Philadelphia” between radio breaks. Made my work day drive time a real pleasure. I know many will agree with that fact. He was a Pittsburgh treasure that will be missed.

  22. Scott 66 says:

    Alway’s loved the way he told a story. Very funny great character. Alway’s had my headset on at work from 4 to 6 pm in his wtae. days. He loved hockey and would attend the Pen’s games. His Florida stories were classic. Alway’s hoped he would get back on the air. I still use his phrases all the time. Hope You got you’re cookie uncle Dougie. Thanks.

  23. Mike says:

    Listened to Uncle Dougie all thru the 80’s and loved every minute of it.

    R.I.P. my radio friend.

  24. Craig says:

    Doug had a program on WTAE in the early 1980’s, where he would have single guys phone in, and women would call in for their phone numbers if they sounded compatible. It was called something like the “dating show of the airways.” I actually hooked up with a girl that way.

  25. Rob says:

    I will miss Doug. He was a gentle genius.

  26. Bob says:


    I loved when he said, all he had in his apartment was one fork, one spoon, one knife and one plate.
    If he needed more than that, he had Eat’n Park.

    He had great wit, and a great sence of humor.
    He would at times say, no one is calling in. Why is no one calling in.
    Then he woud get a caller and he found a way to quickly get them off the air.

    R.I.P Uncle Dougie, May the Dear Lord, Let you hear that Band!

    1. karen arlet says:

      Do you remember when he said he had to eat a can of tuna out of an ashtray!!!!

    2. DJA says:

      That’s so true. He’d practically beg for callers and then cut them short. The guy was an original.

  27. will g says:

    this man was the best talk show host i ever herd. he will be missed, i wish his family well.

  28. Liz Adams says:

    Thank you, Uncle Dougie. So sorry you are gone. You were a great interviewer and part of what made radio great. I will miss you.

  29. Fred says:

    Hello I must be going
    I came to say
    I cannot stay
    I must be going
    I’m glad I came
    But just the same
    I must be going
    RIP Uncle Dougie

    1. bob says:

      It was a classic how he ended his show. And so was Uncle Dougie.

      Thanks for sharing this, Uncle Dougie would smile.

    2. karen arlet says:

      Thanks for those memories. the best. you knew it was the end of the week when doug played it on fridays. I felt like I was leaving the building with him.

  30. Donald says:

    Uncle Doug was more entertaining most 3 hrs, than the whole day of white bread hosts that litter the local air now. Theres no flavor , no character to the remaining talk ! What is local, can’t compete with the variety that Doug provided. 50,000 watts, but only one flavor. No competion, it tends to water down the gene pool I guess. WELL< I MUST BE GOING, I'M GLAD I CAME, BUT STILL THE SAME , ……………………………………………..

  31. Francine B says:

    Oh my goodness….I thoughly enjoyed every minute that I listened to Uncle Dougie. Over the years I often wondered where ever happened to him. He was the most entertaining radio personality I’ve ever listened too. Reading these comments I remembered so many things that I had forgotten. I feels so good to remember what joy he brought to the airwaves. I remember one show where he asked people to call in and say what they dressed as for Halloween and this one lady , who would call in very often and obviously had mental problems called and described how she dressed up as a bolw of salad I believe, with a table on her shoulders. He egged her on and it was hysterical He will be sadly missed.

  32. Judy says:

    I discovered Doug on the radio one day back in ’96-I was on my way home from visiting my husband who was in the hospital & gravely ill at the time. While I had never once listened to talk radio before, on this day, I just wasn’t in the mood for “music.” As I searched the dial for something to take my mind of my problems, I came across Doug’s show. From that day on, I was a loyal fan. As a stay-at-home-mom at the time, I could now be thoroughly & unabashedly entertained while I completed all those mindless tasks & driving around that I had to do. Tuning in was like getting to spend a few hours with a good friend for some coffee, a few smokes, great conversation (I even called in a time or two) & a lot of laughs. He drew his audience thru the common life experiences that we all share, his immeasurable knowledge-he knew a little bit about a lot of stuff- & never needed to be condescending or volatile to peak your interest. While I still regularly listen to talk radio, there will NEVER be another “Uncle Dougie.” While he may not be survived by any family members, his “radio friends” are legion…he will be sorely missed.

  33. rfb says:

    The greatest talk show host that I have ever heard.

    I wonder if someone can collect some of his shows on mp3 and put them on the web.

  34. Linda says:

    He was a great storyteller. I never tired listening to him. Give “em Hell, wherever you are, Uncle Dougie. We’ll miss you.

  35. Ian says:

    I was heart broken when he went off the air….this hurts worse.
    i grew up listening to Doug. and called in numerous times…probably one of his youngest callers. Godspeed Uncle Dougie!!

  36. Kathy says:

    Thank you Stan Savern for allowing us to hear Doug”s voice one more time on the radio during your show.

    Little things mean alot, and to hear his voice again was terrific.

    RIP Uncle Dougie, thanks for all the wonderful times.

  37. "Martie in the Car" says:

    I have missed Doug every time I get in my car since he’s not on. He had such a sharp mind! Awwww I feel so sad. I called in several times, his subjects were so interesting and vital. Miss you, Doug.

  38. John says:

    Doug, many thanks for the joy that you brought to so many listeners here in Pittsburgh. Thanks for the kindness you always showed to me when we would chat in Bellevue. You will be missed. Rest in peace.

  39. beth says:

    What a gem Doug was–such an entertaining and intelligent man. I was a faithful listenenr for many ,many years. He brightened up my days. I still think of phrases he said–top ten with a bullet, ricky ticky cha cha cha–he was so intersting and made me laugh so much. I rmember tuning in every Monday to get his take on the “Sopranos” episode the night before. I won a contest once and went on a trip to the dog races with him and a group of people–what fun. I even ended up going out with him once after that. He was the same “in person” as he was on the radio. Boy, he will be missed…how sad. I hope he knew how many people adored him.

  40. Bonnie B says:

    I have been listening to Uncle Dougie’s oldies show ever since he was on the “other” radio station. He was very entertaining to listen to. Funny, witty and knew a lot about a lot of stuff. What a great guy. It was a sad day when he was no longer on the radio. His daily talk show and his Sunday night oldies show left his fans feeling empty and hoping that some other station would pick him up so that we can once again enjoy him on the air. It was even a sadder day when we all learned that he had passed. I know that you are agnostic, but I believe that we will all hear you again on the other side, and what a party it will be. Until we all meet again. Love Ya Uncle Dougie.

  41. dave says:

    Who ever it is, thank you so much for posting on You Tube , Doug Hearth sound bites.

    Please, if you have more I, as well as many others would love to hear them.

    For those who are not aware, go to You Tube, type in DOUG HEARTH

  42. karen arlet says:

    what I remember about uncle doug’s show. Like the other lady talking about arlene the christian recipe lady every recipe had 1 lb of butter and 1 lb sugar. they had the receptionist or phone screener lady give household tips every friday. every tip called for a gallon of vinegar. Her name just came to me,EARTHA. I miss doug and lawrence. they were were the best. Any one remember the blazing saddles dinner they had down the south side many years ago? I was there. People dressed up as characters from the movie and we watched the movie as we had dinner. Quoting dialogue all the way. DOUG AND LAWRENCE ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO COULD MAKE BLAZING SADDLES A HAPPENING. Thanks for the memories.

  43. karen arlet says:

    Hey , he played the pie lady every thanksgiving. REMEMBER anyone!

  44. Dr Michael says:

    God Bless we will miss him

  45. Dale says:

    Great personality – he will be missed by many.

  46. mpa says:

    Somehow the news of Doug’s passing didn’t reach me until yesterday. I have many fond memories of Doug Hoerth on the radio from the time he came to Pittsburgh until the day his show was suddenly not there. Almost daily, 3pm still brings a sigh. Pittsburgh lost an important conduit when his voice was silenced.

    I remember the jokes, the antics with Laurence (rest in peace, Mr. Gaines), Nancy the cow moo lady, laughing fits with Dr. Wecht, terrific interviews and a historical/political insight that has been sorely missed.

    My strongest memory of Doug was when he came in to do his 3-6 shift on September 11, 2001 and joined Lynn Cullen and Jerry Bowyer, who had stayed together throughout the day. His perspective and sense of humor that day, and in the days after, certainly helped me navigate during those dark times.

    God Bless you Doug Hoerth. You have been and will be missed.

  47. DJA says:

    Like so many here, I followed Doug Hoerth across many stations over many years. I’d come and go over that time, but it was always a pleasant surprise to tune in for something on the radio and come across Doug. You knew he would be off-beat and entertaining.

    I never met him but he did seem like a bit of a lone wolf. I was still sad to hear that he died alone and it took several days for anyone to find him. I know that radio was such a huge part of his life and who he was, he had to be feeling lost. Lost and alone is a bad way to end it.

    So long Uncle Dougie. I hope you knew that people missed you. RIP.

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