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Bonneville International stations by market
Salt Lake City, Utah St Louis, Missouri
Chicago, Illinois Washington, D.C.
  • 103.5 WTOP-FM
  • 103.9 WTLP
  • 107.7 WWWT
  • 1050 WTOP (AM)
  • 1500 WFED
  • 820 WWFD
Phoenix, Arizona Seattle, Washington
Cincinnati, Ohio
Los Angeles, California

Bonneville International Corporation is a broadcasting company wholly owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the 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 30 radio stations and one NBC affiliate television station. Additionally, the Bonneville Communications division provides broadcast distribution services and PSA production services to non-profit organizations.

Contents

History

Bonneville International was formed with approval of the LDS First Presidency in 1964. 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 from 1995 to 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 satellites Corporation, primarily to broadcast LDS General Conferences.

Bonneville prided itself on "values-oriented programming" and community involvement, in line with first president Arch L. Madsen's vision of the company's mission. 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 an 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 70's-80's-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 of 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 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.[1]

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).[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ CBS Kicks Off Radio Station Auction - New York Post (retrieved September 22, 2008)
  2. ^ DCRTV.net (accessed August 18, 2009)

External links

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