CEO/COO, National Repertory Orchestra, Retired
Douglas Adams is the principal of the Douglas Adams Group, a management consulting firm specializing in organizational design, marketing, fund-raising and board governance.
Adams began a broadcasting career while still a student at The University of North Texas (North Texas State University at the time), working as a radio news reporter and anchor at WBAP in Fort Worth. After several years in radio, he moved into television as a reporter for KXAS-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth. After a few months, he was named Dallas Bureau Chief and later Executive Producer and Assistant News Director. In 1983, he was named News Director of KXAS, making him one of the youngest news directors in the country. During this time, he served on the board of the Texas Association of Broadcasters, including two terms as president. He was also on the board of the Texas Freedom of Press Foundation.
After obtaining an MBA from Southern Methodist University, Adams moved from news into station management, beginning with his appointment as President of WAND-TV in Decatur, Illinois. After a year, he was transferred to WAVY-TV in Portsmouth-Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia. In 1991, he returned home to KXAS as President and General Manager of KXAS-TV in Dallas Fort Worth, recognized as one of the most successful television operations in the United States. In 1998, the station was sold by LIN Television to the National Broadcasting Company for one billion dollars. Adams remained with the station and joined NBC and the General Electric Company until retiring from television two years later.
At that time, he began a new career in management of symphony orchestras, beginning as general manger of the Dallas Symphony. He moved to Denver as President and CEO of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in 1992. During his tenure at the CSO, Adams led the orchestra from a period of financial uncertainty to nationally recognized stature. Under Adams’ leadership, the CSO posted six consecutive years of in-the-black financial performance and saw an increase in ticket sales of more than 40 percent. The CSO’s reputation for imaginative programming and aggressive marketing also grew under Adams’ guidance, drawing national and international acclaim.
In addition, during Adams’ tenure with the CSO, he led the hard-fought campaign to win voter approval of $60 million dollars in bond funds; funds slated to be used for a major renovation of Denver’s Boettcher Concert Hall and the construction of a new symphony center.
Adams was named president of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in July of 2008, and officially took over at the start of the 2008–2009 season, just as Jaap van Zweden began his tenure as music director. Adams formed a strong partnership with van Zweden and, working closely with the Board of Directors and other cultural, business and city leaders, led the Dallas Symphony Orchestra into a new era of artistic excellence and community involvement.
As President of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2010, Adams led the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest. He was responsible for overseeing all the artistic and administrative operations of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra which include the presentation of over 150 concerts a year.
Among his many industry and community service affiliations, Adams was President of the NBC Affiliates Board from 1997 until 1998. He was chairman of the Dallas Business Committee for the Arts in 1999. He continues to be a national vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He has served on the board of Exempla Health Care System, a non-profit operator of three major hospitals based in Denver. He also served on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, the Advisory Board of the American Symphony Orchestra League and on the board of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. Other prior service has included board positions at the Visiting Nurses Association (Dallas), the United Way of Dallas, the United Way of Decatur (IL), the United Way of Portsmouth (VA), the St. Paul Medical Center Foundation, the Leukemia Society of Dallas, the USA Film Festival, the Volunteer Center of Dallas. He served on the Board of Governors and the Executive Committee of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1992 until 2002.
Adams makes his home in the Denver area with his wife, Pamela. Their son, Tyler, is an architect in Dallas. Daughter Taylor is a senior journalism major at Southern Methodist University.