AMANDA DICKSON

Opinion: Boyd Matheson is our generation’s Walter Cronkite

Apr 3, 2021, 4:42 PM | Updated: 6:27 pm

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

SALT LAKE CITY — There is an old saying that begins, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I couldn’t help but think of that when Boyd Matheson came to KSL Newsradio, and I think of it again now that we will be able to hear him weekday afternoons. (His show is expanding to Monday-Friday from 1:00-3:00.) I have heard from so many of you over the years that you want to stay informed, but you just “can’t handle” the news. And I have always known, in my heart, exactly what you meant.

My first radio station was a small station here in Utah called K-TALK. From the earliest days, I felt the goal was somehow to inspire conflict, contrast, and conspiracy theories – but not knowledge.

Not truth.

And least of all understanding of one another. Years later I moved to KSL Newsradio and learned about talk radio on a much larger scale. I met Sean Hannity, who seemed like a perfectly nice guy in person, but would go on the air and eviscerate people without batting an eye. I didn’t understand how he could do that and not be wounded spiritually.

There has been something sick on talk radio for a very long time – not KSL Newsradio specifically, usually the more strident voices of the syndicated shows – but it’s something that seeks first to destroy then to be understood. This posture created a huge audience, an audience that passed the sickness it was feeding to communities across the nation and left many Americans despising and distrusting everyone, including their own government, and sometimes their own families.

From the ashes created by this fire have come cries for civility. “Why does it have to be this way?” one asks. “We’re better than this,” another says. “How did it get this way?” someone wonders. Children look to their parents for answers and parents look to their children for ideas. No one knows quite where to turn, so the criticizing goes on. That, or we turn it all off and just watch Netflix.

Until now.

I believe we have found our generation’s Walter Cronkite. KSL Newsradio has found a man who understands Washington and Utah and the world well enough to speak with authority, but humble enough to listen with curiosity. This man would never win an argument just for the sake of winning if it meant belittling another person. I know he is more conservative than some of you may like, but he is also interested in all opinions and open to all points of view, and that is more than I can say about almost any other person I know. 

Boyd Matheson has comforted me in the depth of my grief when I lost my father and laughed with me over things too silly to mention. He is a loving husband and father in all the genuine ways that make that statement more than just a line on a resume. He is someone I look up to, whose counsel I seek, and now whose guidance we will all be able to benefit from every day.

And here is the best part – it’s not just about knowing everything with Boyd. It’s not just about understanding the world. It’s about living in a way that lifts your fellow man. Boyd lives for a higher purpose, and that guides his choices, his words, his relationships with other people, and his listeners. He doesn’t live for ratings or sponsors or the limelight. He’s the anti-Sean Hannity. He lives to serve and to uplift, and we are the blessed recipients of that service.

Welcome to afternoons on KSL Newsradio, Boyd Matheson. From your buddy and mentee, Amanda.

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Opinion: Boyd Matheson is our generation’s Walter Cronkite