Gigi Douban

Gigi Douban

News Director



Gigi Douban has reported for public radio since 2006. She’s filed stories for WBHM, NPR, Studio 360, and Public Radio International’s The World. Most recently, Gigi reported for Marketplace, bringing the country stories about toxic landfills, debtors prisons, and lighter fare, like why urinals are ubiquitous in public bathrooms, but not in homes. She's also written for Bloomberg News and Runner’s World, and on occasion, actually runs.

Why Alabama Still Has No Water Management Plan

The state has 132 thousand miles of streams and rivers. And if your land touches that water, for the most part, you can take all you want. Most states have rules about who gets how much water, and when—not Alabama.

New Report: Moore Initiated Sexual Contact With Girl, Then 14

The Washington Post is reporting Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had a sexual encounter with a 14 year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.

A Rash of Political Sign Thefts in Homewood

Supporters of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones in Homewood have taken to social media to complain about a wave of campaign signs stolen from their yards around the city.

Roy Moore’s Foundation Guaranteed Him a $180,000 Salary

The Washington Post on Wednesday published a report revealing that Moore had arranged to receive a salary of $180,000 a year for part-time work at this charity. The report goes on to say Moore collected more than $1 million from 2007 to 2012 — well beyond what the group disclosed in federal tax filings.

As Nate Weakens, Expect Heavy Rain and Wind

Nate has quickly weakened to a tropical depression. The Birmingham metro area can expect torrential rains and strong winds to continue moving in Sunday. Wind advisories are in effect for all of Central Alabama through 10 pm Sunday.

‘Hurricane Nate is an Alabama storm.’ State Braces for Impact

Hurricane Nate could bring sustained winds up to 100 mph and gusts up to 115 mph when it makes landfall along the Gulf Coast Saturday night. Because of those high winds, the storm’s impact on Alabama is expected to be dramatically greater than Irma.

Woodfin Wins. Birmingham Voters Deny Bell Another Term

Birmingham voters on Tuesday elected Randall Woodfin the city’s new mayor. Woodfin took 59 percent of the vote to incumbent Mayor William Bell’s 41 percent, according to unofficial results. The two candidates took different approaches as they vied for the mayor’s seat in the weeks after the August municipal election. That race resulted in a runoff. Bell […]

Where Trump and Roy Moore Intersect (Hint: It isn’t Religion)

What do President Donald Trump and Roy Moore have in common? The president isn’t particularly religious. But Moore, whose evangelical Christian base carried him to victory Tuesday in the Republican primary for US Senate, might not need a Bible-toting president to win votes in the December general election.

Moore Defeats Strange in GOP Senate Runoff

In a blow to the Republican Washington establishment, Alabama voters on Tuesday handed a victory to controversial former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in the race to fill the Senate seat once held by Jeff Sessions. Washington super PACS affiliated with GOP Senate leadership poured millions into appointed Senator Luther Strange’s campaign in Alabama’s special primary […]

Election Day: Updates on the US Senate GOP Runoff

Election Day: Updates on the US Senate GOP Runoff Storify by WBHM Wed, Sep 27 2017 01:37:34 Edit Election Day: Updates on the US Senate GOP Runoff A roundup of the latest on the race between Roy Moore and Luther Strange Dan Carsen@DanAtWBHM BREAKING: Brief but important update from @AP: “Roy Moore, GOP, nominated U.S. […]

As Some Vote in the GOP Runoff, Others Await Divine Inspiration

The race is on to the fill the seat once held by Jeff Sessions. And today, one candidate will win the GOP runoff: Roy Moore, the twice-removed former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, or Luther Strange, who has held the seat since he was appointed by former Governor Robert Bentley. At the Republian-heavy Gardendale […]

Candidates Make One Final Push Before Tuesday’s GOP Senate Runoff

Vice President Mike Pence addressed a crowd at a rally Monday night in Birmingham for Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange. Pence’s speech seemed at times more in support of Trump than it was for Strange as he ticked off some of the president’s accomplishments in office: rolling back the Obama administration’s Clean Energy Plan, cutting […]

Moore or Strange? For Some GOP Voters It’s the ‘Lesser of Two Evils’

Alabama Republican voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to determine their party’s candidate in a special Senate election. The choices in the runoff? Appointed Sen. Luther Strange, and the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court Judge Roy Moore. Neither is ideal for some.

Fleeing Irma: One Family’s Journey From Florida to Alabama

Florida’s roadways are clogged with residents trying to flee Hurricane Irma. At least 500,000 residents are under evacuation orders. One Birmingham family makes the drive from Boca Raton to Alabama to stay with family for the next several days.

As Irma Swirls Toward Florida, Alabama Prepares

Alabama appears to be outside of the path of Hurricane Irma, the deadly storm swirling 145-mile-per-hour winds over the Caribbean. But on Wednesday officials with the state Emergency Management Agency said they are preparing for the worst.

The Voice Behind the Crimson Tide? That’s Eli Gold

Meet the man who is the voice behind the Alabama Crimson Tide. Eli Gold has announced games for the Tide on the radio for almost three decades.

Birmingham Mayor’s Race Goes to a Runoff

Birmingham Mayor William Bell and challenger Randall Woodfin will head to a runoff. The runoff will take place October 3.

SPLC to Secretary of State: Reinstate Inactive Voters by Next Month

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Friday asked Secretary of State John Merrill to reinstate the 340,000 Alabama voters that have been placed on inactive voter lists before the September Senate runoff. Many residents voting in Tuesday’s primary learned for the first time their status had been changed to “inactive.” Poll workers asked them to […]

State Sues City Over Confederate Monument

The City of Birmingham and its mayor are being sued by the state for allegedly violating an Alabama law that protects historic monuments. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit today after Birmingham Mayor William Bell ordered the construction of a plywood barrier to obscure a Confederate monument in a city park. Alabama law prohibits the removal, […]

Some Voters Required to Verify Information at the Polls

An attempt to update the state’s voter rolls left some Alabama voters confused and angry at the polls in Tuesday’s US Senate primary. Those whose status was bumped to “inactive” were permitted to vote after they verified their information.

Strange and Moore Headed to a Runoff

Senator Luther Strange will face former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in a September runoff. Neither candidate took more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s special Senate primary.

Democrats Hope for a Comeback in the U.S. Senate Race

Doug Jones is best known for successfully prosecuting the 16th Street Baptist Church bombers and helping indict Birmingham abortion clinic bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. Now the former US Attorney is running in the Democratic Senate primary for the seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions.

2017 Birmingham Mayoral Debate

WBHM and the Birmingham Business Journal partnered to present the 2017 Birmingham Mayoral Debate. We hear from the top three candidates in Birmingham’s race for mayor as determined by public polling: incumbent Mayor William Bell, and challengers Chris Woods, and Randall Woodfin.

Many GOP Voters Still Undecided on Senate Candidates

Four candidates attended at the GOP Senate forum: incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, Bryan Peeples, Randy Brinson and Congressman Mo Brooks. They wanted to win votes. But as they hashed out issues from abortion to concealed carry laws, many voters left undecided.

What Birmingham Businesses Want From City Leaders

Birmingham business leaders weigh in on what they expect from city leadership. Birmingham’s municipal elections will be August 22.

Unpacking the Uproar Around Birmingham’s Gentrification

Gentrification is a concern among Birmingham residents and city leaders. But look behind the label, and bigger issues start to emerge.

The Risk Brooks Took: Choosing Sessions Over Trump

Congressman and Republican U.S. Senate candidate discusses his decision to criticize President Donald Trump over publicly berating Attorney General Jeff Session.

Former Chief Justice Roy Moore Campaigns on Return to Morality

As former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore campaigns for a U.S. Senate seat, he’s not backing away from his opposition to same-sex marriage or his views on religion in government.

Filling in the Gaps: New Project Connects Lakeview to Pepper Place

There’s a new multimillion-dollar development coming to Lakeview: it’ll have apartments and condos, room for retail and restaurants, and some green space. It’ll be at the former Davis School property at 29th Street and 4th Avenue South. WBHM’s Gigi Douban talked with Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West about how the project could tie hot […]

Still in Vacation Mode? Tax Holiday Aims to Snap You Out of It

Alabama’s back-to-school sales tax holiday takes place from July 21 – 23. It’s a chance to get folders and highlighters and a lot of clothing tax-free. If it seems awfully early, it’s because it is.

Election Commission to States: Hold Voter Info Pending Legal Ruling

President Trump’s election commission sent a letter today asking Secretaries of State to hold off on submitting the voter data it requested pending a federal judge’s ruling on a legal challenge. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order on the commission’s request, saying it was an unprecedented invasion of […]

Secretary of State Questions Election Commission Request for Voter Data

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill was in Indianapolis this past weekend for the National Association of Secretaries of State’s annual conference. He says President Donald Trump’s Election Integrity Commission was the center of conversations both in and out of conference sessions. “This is the thing that has dominated almost the entire discussion public and private […]