Bonneville International

Bonneville International Corporation
Industry Radio broadcasting
Television broadcasting
Founded Salt Lake City, Utah, United States 1964 (1964)
Headquarters Salt Lake City
Parent Deseret Management Corporation

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 13 radio stations in four major markets as well as one NBC affiliate television station in its home market; it also manages eight additional radio stations in two markets under a local marketing agreement. 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.


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 later 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.

On November 17, 2017, Bonneville began operating four San Francisco radio stations and four Sacramento radio stations under a local marketing agreement; the eight stations' licenses are held by a divestiture trust for Entercom set up following its merger with CBS Radio.[5] On August 3, 2018, Entercom announced that Bonneville would buy all eight stations for $141 million;[6] the deal had been delayed by succession issues related to the death of LDS Church president Thomas Monson the preceding January.[7]

Bonneville-owned stations

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

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

Radio stations

AM Stations FM Stations
Market Station Owned Since Current Format
Phoenix KTAR-620 2004 Sports talk
(ESPN Radio)
KTAR-FM-92.3 2006 News/Talk
KMVP-FM-98.7 2004 Sports talk
Sacramento KHTK-1140 1 Sports talk
KYMX-96.1 1 Adult contemporary
KZZO-100.5 1 Hot adult contemporary
KNCI-105.1 1 Country music
San Francisco KOIT-96.5 1
(previously owned from 1975–2008)
Adult contemporary
KUFX-98.5 1 Classic rock
KMVQ-FM-99.7 1 Contemporary hit radio
KBLX-FM-102.9 1 Urban adult contemporary
Denver KEPN-1600 2015 Sports talk
KKFN-104.3 2015 Sports talk
KOSI-101.1 2015 Adult contemporary
KYGO-FM-98.5 2015 Country music
Salt Lake City KSL-1160 ** 1922 News/Talk
(simulcasts KSL AM)
KSFI-100.3 ** 2003
(previously owned from 1947–1977)
Soft adult contemporary
KRSP-FM-103.5 2003 Classic rock
Seattle - Tacoma KTTH-770 2008
(previously owned from 1995–1997)
Conservative talk
KIRO-710 2008
(previously owned from 1964–1997)
Sports radio
(ESPN Radio)
KIRO-FM-97.3 2008 News/Talk


Former Bonneville-owned stations

Television station

City of license/Market Station Channel
Years owned Current ownership status
Seattle - Tacoma KIRO-TV 7 (39) 1964–1995 CBS affiliate owned by Cox Media Group

From 2010 to 2016, Bonneville International also operated an independent TV station, KJZZ-TV (channel 14), in Salt Lake City, under a local marketing agreement with Larry H. Miller Communications Corporation. The arrangement ended when Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired KJZZ-TV.[8]

Former radio stations

AM Stations FM Stations
Market Station Years owned Current ownership status
Phoenix KIDR-740 1991–1997 En Familia, Inc.
KMVP-860 2004–2017 Farmworker Educational Radio Network
KHTC-96.9 1991–1997 iHeartMedia, Inc.
San Francisco KSFB-1260 1982–2008 Immaculate Heart Radio
KBWF-95.7 1997–2008 Entercom Communications
KDFC-FM-102.1 1997–2008 Entercom Communications
Los Angeles KBRT-740 1969–1980 Crawford Broadcasting
KBIG-104.3 1969–1998 iHeartMedia, Inc.
KZLA-FM-93.9 1998–2000 Grupo Radio Centro
KSWD-100.3 2008–2015 Educational Media Foundation
New York WNSR-105.1 1967–1997 iHeartMedia, Inc.
Washington, D.C. WBQH-1050 2004–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WFED-1500 1998–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
(simulcasts WFED)
1996–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WTOP-FM-103.5 1998–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
(simulcasts WTOP-FM)
1996–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
(simulcasts WTOP-FM)
1998–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WPRS-FM-104.1 1996–2008 Urban One
Chicago WDRV-97.1 2000–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
(simulcasts WDRV)
2000–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WLUP-FM-97.9 1997–2005 Educational Media Foundation
WILV-100.3 1997–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WTMX-101.9 1970–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
Kansas City KCMO-810 1993–1997 Union Broadcasting
KMBZ-980 1967–1997 Entercom Communications
KCMO-FM-94.9 1993–1997 Cumulus Media
KLTH-99.7 1967–1997 Entercom Communications
St. Louis WARH-106.5 2000–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WIL-FM-92.3 2000–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WXOS-101.1 2000–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
Cincinnati WKRQ-101.9 2008–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WREW-94.9 2008–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WUBE-FM-105.1 2008–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
WYGY-97.3 2008–2011 Hubbard Broadcasting
Dallas–Fort Worth KAAM-1310 1978–1994 Cumulus Media
KZPS-92.5 1978–1997 iHeartMedia, Inc.
KDGE-94.5 1995–1997 Urban One
Houston KLDE-94.5 1997–1998 iHeartMedia, Inc.
Seattle - Tacoma KNWX-1090 1995 iHeartMedia, Inc.
KIRO-FM-100.7 1964–1997 Entercom Communications

See also


  2. CBS Kicks Off Radio Station Auction - New York Post (retrieved September 22, 2008)
  3. (accessed August 18, 2009)
  4. "$505M sale: Bonneville sells Chicago, D.C., St. Louis and Cincinnati to Hubbard". January 19, 2011. Archived from the original on January 21, 2011.
  5. 1 2 "Entercom-CBS Merger: Sales, Trades and LMAs". Inside Radio. November 17, 2017. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  6. 1 2 Jacobson, Adam (August 3, 2018). "Bonneville Pays $141 Million For Entercom 8". Radio & Television Business Report. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  7. "Here's What's Holding Up Bonneville's Buy Of 8 Entercom Stations". Inside Radio. May 10, 2018. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  8. Pierce, Scott (April 28, 2016). "KUTV's parent buys KJZZ from Millers". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved June 20, 2016.

Further reading

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