KSL NewsRadio turns 100!
Win $100 just for telling us your KSL memories! We want to hear from you, what’s your favorite KSL NewsRadio experience? Has there been a moment of breaking news or host discussion that’s impacted your day? What about donating to Quarters for Christmas, becoming a smile maker for the Primary Children’s Give-A-Thon, sharing your time at Utah Gives Back, or nominating a deserving teacher for recognition?
Whatever the memory, we want to share in it with you! Please take a moment to fill out the form below. All submitted memories will be displayed on our website in 2022, entered to win a $100 gift card!
Beginning on May 6, 1922, Utah became the broadcast home of the first clear channel radio station in the western United States. Heber J. Grant, then President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered the state’s first radio message. At the time the call letters were KZN, as in K-Zion, and broadcasts were done from a shack on top of the Deseret News Building. The call letters were changed to KSL, as in K-Salt Lake, two years later.
Being the first radio station in the area, the majority of the population didn’t have a radio. KSL sent out mobile “sound trucks” to public areas where people would congregate to get their daily news. From its origin, KSL was all about distributing important information, with music, dramas and sports programs mixed in.
In 1923 the first broadcast of LDS general conference was aired, a semi-annual tradition that still happens today. Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcasts began in July 1929 and still continue as the longest running nationwide network radio program in history.
The government awarded KSL a license to broadcast at 50,000 watts in 1933, and the station became known as a national radio powerhouse. Bruce Reese, former CEO of Bonneville International Corp., once said, “The government decided that everybody in America ought to be able to hear a radio station at night, in case of an emergency. And they created these 12 or 13 super AM stations.”
As Utah’s population grew, so did the station. On Sept. 3, 2005, KSL began simulcasting on 102.7 FM, making it the first Utah radio news outlet on the FM dial and the first station in Utah to simulcast on both AM and FM. With the added frequency came an expanded audience.
“Everyone (should) feel an ownership of, a connection with KSL,” said KSL legend Doug Wright. “From day one, the goal of this broadcast facility — even as it has expanded into television and online — has been to serve the community … (so they can) have a voice, be entertained and always count on KSL being there.”
In an interview with KSL Program Director Kevin LaRue, he stated “KSL is more than just a radio station. People feel a sense of partnership with this station (and) they feel some ownership in the station,” he added.
Because of you, our family of listeners, KSL NewsRadio has been a constant news companion to the Wasatch Front and beyond for a solid century. Thank you doesn’t begin to cover the gratitude and appreciation we as a station have for Utah’s community. The station’s most important legacy is how we impact those who listen.
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