Bonneville

Bonneville International  (Website)  is a radio and TV station owner and operator headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.   As you might infer from the name and location, Bonneville is owned by the Mormon church.

As of 2009, Bonneville operates 8 AM radio stations, 21 FM stations, and KSL-TV.  Most of their properties are located in the Western United States, but they also have a significant presence in Washington, D.C.

History

Radio station KSL was founded in 1922 in Salt Lake City, Utah by the Mormon Church.  KSL-TV was also an early pioneer in Television, going on the air in 1949.

Bonneville was formed in 1964 with the KSL properties as its core holdings.  It subsequently acquired several important heritage AM radio stations –  (KIRO and KTTH in Seattle) and WTOP in Washington, DC.  It also operates FM stations in the St Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago and Phoenix.  

WTOP is one of the few “All News” radio stations in the country not run by CBS Radio.   During the 2nd term of George W Bush, Bonneville entered into an odd arrangement with the Washington Post to jointly run a news/talk radio station in the Washington D.C. area called WWWT.   The concept was that reporters for the Washington Post would produce programming for the radio station (having no experience in doing radio).   The concept never gained traction with the employees of the Washington Post or the public.

What followed was a convoluted sequence of frequency, callsign and format swaps.  WTOP was low power AM station as part of an All News simulcast also carried on several FM stations.  In 2009, WTOP-AM was renamed WZAA and became an affilate of Air America, operated under a lease arrangement.

The original 50 kw WTOP is now WFED, which produces an all government information programming format targeted at Federal government workers, talking about contract procurement, pending legislation in Congress and similar issues.  Advertisers consist of companies that want to sell “stuff” to the government, like I.B.M. 

Bonneville Owned Radio Stations

Los Angeles

  • KSWD (Rock Music)

Chicago:

  • WDRV-FM (Classic Rock)
  • WILF-FM (Dance/Party Music)
  • WTMX-FM (AC Music)
  • WWDV (Classic Rock)

Cincinnati:

  • WKRQ-FM (Adult Contemporary Music)
  • WUBE-FM (Country)
  • WYGY-FM (Country)
  • WSWD-FM (AC Music)

St. Louis:

  • WXOS-FM (ESPN)
  • WARH-FM (AC Music)
  • WIL-FM (Country)

Washington, D.C.

  • WZAA-AM (Air America – LMA)
  • WTOP-FM (All News)
  • WWWT-FM (WTOP Simulcast)
  • WTLP-FM (WTOP Simulcast)
  • WFED-AM (Government News/Talk)
  • WWFD-FM (WFED Simulcast)

 Phoenix, Arizona

  • KTAR-AM (News Talk)
  • KMVP-AM (Spanish)
  • KPKX-FM (Classic Rock)

Seattle, Washington

  • KIRO-AM (Sports)
  • KIRO-FM (News/Talk)
  • KTTH (News/Talk)

Salt Lake City, Utah

  • KSL-AM/FM (News/Talk simulcast)
  • KSFI-FM (Soft Rock)
  • KRSP-FM (Classic Rock)

Ownership

Bonneville is privately owned by the Church of Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church).   Very little financial data is available on their operations. 

Management

The current President and CEO of Bonneville is Bruce T Reese.   Mr Reese is an attorney, and began his law career working in the Anti Trust department of the US Department of Justice.  He sits on the Board of Directors of Associated Press and the Radio Advertising Bureau.  He previously served as the Chairman of the Joint Radio/TV NAB Board.

Translation of the above:  Mr Reese IS a very influential person in the radio business and government.  For an interesting look at his opinions (in 2004) on localism, consolidation, and competition – read this.

Financial Condition

As a privately held corporation, Bonneville is not required to disclose its financial condition to the public.

Leave a Reply