KSL-AM, FM & TV going its own way


Deseret Management Corp. (DMC), the company through which the Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) owns its media properties, is reorganizing its home market of Salt Lake City. KSL-TV (NBC) and KSL NewsRadio will leave Bonneville International for a new KSL Broadcast Division – but that doesn’t affect Bonneville’s other two SLC radio stations.

The KSL Broadcast Division will be guided by Bob Johnson, who will serve as president and chief executive officer. Johnson currently serves as Bonneville International Executive Vice President and its Salt Lake market manager.  He has been involved in Bonneville operations since 1996.  Previously, he served as Bonneville general counsel and also practiced law in Washington, DC and Salt Lake City.

The other new division is the Deseret Digital Media Division (DDM), which will manage the websites and business operations for DeseretBook.com, DeseretNews.com, KSL.com, LDSChurchNews.com and Mormontimes.com. DDM will be led by Clark Gilbert, who will serve as its President and CEO.  Gilbert currently serves as an Associate Academic VP at Brigham Young University-Idaho, overseeing the growth of the university’s online initiative and educational outreach efforts. Previously, he taught at the Harvard Business School, where he focused on innovation in digital news media.  He is an expert in online business model strategy and has helped found several new media start-ups. 

“We see tremendous strategic advantage in aligning the focus and facilitating the collaboration of our respective media divisions.  Further, like media companies everywhere, our print and broadcast companies have been under tremendous economic pressure. We have found, and will continue to find, ways to reduce costs and operate more efficiently. Thankfully, our owner allows us to think about long-term opportunities as well as short-term challenges. It is willing to let us take some of our cost savings and invest for the future, which is what we are doing with the actions being announced today,” said DMC President and CEO Mark Willes,

“The decision to separate KSL Television and KSL NewsRadio from the Bonneville organization is completely consistent with DMC’s goals and the heritage of the KSL stations. Obviously, we will miss our intimate working relationship with our KSL colleagues. At Bonneville, we have terrific opportunities to expand and grow our core businesses, given the quality of people we’ve been fortunate to attract and the service all of us deliver to our communities. I remain honored to lead the remarkably talented associates who will continue to comprise our Bonneville family,” said Bonneville International President and CEO Bruce Reese. Bonneville owns and operates 28 radio stations in eight markets, including Salt Lake City stations KSFI-FM “FM 100” and KRSP-FM “103.5 The Arrow.”

According to the DMC announcement, the KSL Broadcast Division will focus its attention on two nationally recognized stations and top-rated broadcasting icons, KSL Television and KSL NewsRadio. “Today’s announcement regarding the repositioning of KSL Television and KSL NewsRadio within the DMC family of companies marks a new chapter for these heritage broadcasting stations. And as we reflect on that new chapter, KSL Television and KSL NewsRadio will remain fully committed to providing balanced, unbiased, and comprehensive coverage of the news of our Salt Lake and Utah communities. We also look forward to an increased level of professional teamwork among the DMC assets, which will make available to KSL the additional and remarkable talents found at the Deseret News and the new Deseret Digital Media,” said Johnson.