Bonneville International

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Bonneville International Corporation
Type Private
Industry Radio broadcasting
Television broadcasting
Founded Salt Lake City, Utah, United States 1964 (1964)
Headquarters Salt Lake City
Parent Deseret Management Corporation
Website bonneville.com

Bonneville International Corporation is a media and broadcasting company, wholly owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) through its for-profit arm, Deseret Management Corporation. It began as a radio and TV network in the Triad Center Broadcast House in Salt Lake City, Utah. Bonneville's name alludes to Benjamin Bonneville and the prehistoric Lake Bonneville that once covered much of modern-day Utah, which was named after him.

Bonneville owns about 13 radio stations in four major markets as well as one NBC affiliate television station in its home market, and also operates a second non-affiliated TV station, also in its home market. Additionally, its Bonneville Communications division provides marketing and communications strategy and branding services. Bonneville Distribution, another division, provides broadcast syndication and distribution services to non-profit organizations.

History[edit]

Bonneville International was formed in 1964, with approval of the LDS Church's First Presidency. It was formed to acquire KSL-AM-FM-TV, which had previously been subsidiaries of the Deseret News. Soon after its formation, Bonneville purchased KIRO-AM-FM-TV in Seattle. The LDS Church divested itself of these stations between 1995 and 1997, but reacquired KIRO-AM 10 years later.[1] The company has also owned stations in New York City, Dallas, Kansas City, and Los Angeles at one point.

In 1980 it formed Bonneville Communications Corporation, primarily to broadcast LDS General Conference.

Bonneville prided itself on "values-oriented programming" and community involvement, in line with the company 's mission as set forth by its first president, Arch L. Madsen. According to Bonneville International's website, their values reflect an understanding that "families are the basic unit of society... and that strong families build strong communities."

Due to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) media cross-ownership rule, Bonneville was unable to purchase additional media outlets in Salt Lake City beyond its flagship cluster. In anticipation of a rule change, Bonneville purchased four additional Salt Lake radio stations in 2002. The FCC did not grant approval for this purchase until 2003, upon which the stations were acquired by Bonneville. The status of this deal is still uncertain—the FCC has only granted a waiver to Bonneville, and a recent court ruling has put the FCC cross-ownership rule changes into question.

On October 4, 2004, Bonneville International announced plans to buy three stations from Emmis Communications in the Phoenix, Arizona market, in exchange for WLUP "The Loop" in Chicago and cash.

On January 4, 2006, Bonneville and The Washington Post announced that the frequencies currently used by WTOP, 1500 kHz AM and 107.7 MHz FM, would be reassigned to a new station, "Washington Post Radio." WTOP would move to 103.5 MHz, the frequencies currently used by classical music station WGMS, which in turn would move to 104.1 and 103.9 MHz, the frequencies used by WWZZ, which would be closed.

WGMS itself would fall silent a little more than a year later, on January 22, 2007. In its place is 1970s-1980s-adult-hits-station WXGG ("George 104"). Simultaneously, public radio station WETA-FM dropped its news/talk format in order to revive its previous classical format, via a partnership with Bonneville. WETA would also receive WGMS' entire music library, hired WGMS' last program director, and also retained the usage of the WGMS call sign. George 104 would last less than four months, when in April 2007, it was announced that the 104.1 frequency would be LMA'd to Radio One. On April 7, 2007 the frequency would flip to a Gospel and Inspiration format, known as Praise 104.1.

The Washington Post Radio experiment ended in September 2007, as the three stations (including the powerful AM 1500 signal) became WWWT, or "3WT". Hosts include syndicated hosts from the Right (Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz) and Left (Stephanie Miller) as well as Washington Nationals baseball. The station's morning show will continue.

Rush Limbaugh once worked for Bonneville Communications, after his stint with the Kansas City Royals.

CBS Radio has announced that it would sell 50 radio stations in 12 markets to focus on major market stations. As of September 22, 2008, Bonneville is one of the seven candidates to make first-round bids.[2]

On August 12, 2009; Citadel Broadcasting has rumored that they're planning to sell the former Disney/ABC's 23 stations to reduce its debt load, however several financial factors may put the deal at risk. While not all the stations can be sold off, Bonneville has expressed interest in 2 FM stations in Washington D.C. (WJZW and WRQX).[3]

On January 19, 2011, Bonneville announced it would sell 17 radio stations in Cincinnati, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis to Hubbard Broadcasting for $505 million.[4] The deal closed May 2, 2011.

Bonneville-owned stations[edit]

Stations are arranged in alphabetical order by state and city of license.

Note: Two boldface asterisks appearing following a station's call letters (**) indicates a station that was built and signed-on by a predecessor of Bonneville International.

Television station[edit]

City of license/Market Station Channel
TV / DT
Owned Since Affiliation
Salt Lake City KSL-TV ** 5 (38) 1949 NBC

Bonneville International also operates an independent TV station, KJZZ-TV (channel 14), in Salt Lake City, under a local marketing agreement with Larry H. Miller Communications Corporation.

Radio stations[edit]

AM Stations FM Stations
Market Station Owned Since Current Format
Phoenix KMVP-860 Gospel music
KTAR-620 2004 Sports talk
KTAR-FM-92.3 2006 News/Talk
KMVP-FM-98.7 Adult hits
Los Angeles KSWD-100.3 2008 Classic rock
Salt Lake City KSL-1160 ** 1922 News/Talk
KSL-FM-102.7
(simulcasts KSL [AM])
2003
KSL-FM/KSFI-100.3 ** 2003
(previously owned from 1947-1977)
News/Talk
KRSP-FM-103.5 2003 Classic hits
Seattle - Tacoma KTTH-770 2007 Conservative talk
KIRO-710 2007
(previously owned from 1964-1997)
Sports radio
(ESPN Radio)
KIRO-FM-97.3 2007 News/Talk

Former Bonneville-owned stations[edit]

Television station[edit]

City of license/Market Station Channel
TV (DT)
Years owned Current Status
Seattle - Tacoma KIRO-TV 7 (39) 1964–1995 CBS affiliate owned by Cox Enterprises

Radio station[edit]

KOIT 96.5 FM, in San Francisco, California, was owned by Bonneville International from 1983, when the radio frequency for KOIT was bought, at 96.5 FM. Bonneville worked to make KOIT a good easy listening radio station. At first, they were playing mostly instrumentals and would put in a vocal song about once every three songs, similar to what San Jose radio station KBAY was doing at the time, in the mid-1980s, on 100.3 FM. However, in 1988, KOIT changed their music so that they ended up playing soft rock mostly. At first, they were playing 1950s through 1980s soft rock. In the mid-1990s, they added more 1990s songs, and finally, in the 2000s, they started playing mostly 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s songs, and dropped all the oldies from the 1950s through the 1970s. Bonneville sold KOIT to Entercom Group in 2007, and exited out of the San Francisco market.[citation needed]

AM Stations FM Stations
Market Station Owned Since Current Format
San Francisco KSFB-1260 1982 Catholic program
KKOIT-FM-96.5 2007 Adult Contemporary
KGMZ-95.7 2007 Sports
KUZX-102.1 2007 Classic rock
Los Angeles KBIG-104.3 1997 Hot Adult Contemporary
Washington, D.C. WBQH-1050 2011 Regional Mexican
WFED-1500 2011 Federal news/talk
WWFD-820
(simulcasts WFED)
2011
WTOP-FM-103.5 2011 News
WTLP-103.9
(simulcasts WTOP-FM)
2011
WWWT-FM-107.7
(simulcasts WTOP-FM)
2011
Chicago WDRV-97.1 2011 Classic rock
WWDV-96.9
(simulcasts WDRV)
2011
WILV-100.3 2011 Adult hits
WTMX-101.9 2011 Adult Top 40
St. Louis WARH-106.5 2011 Adult hits
WIL-FM-92.3 2011 Country
WXOS-101.1 2011 Sports radio
(ESPN Radio)
Cincinnati WKRQ-101.9 2011 Adult Top 40
WREW-94.9 2011 Rhythmic AC
WUBE-FM-105.1 2011 Country
WYGY-97.3 2011 Country Top 40

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]