Bonneville International

Last updated
Bonneville International Corporation
Type Private
Founded1964 (1964)
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 in its hometown of Salt Lake City, as well as KIRO-AM-FM-TV in Seattle, which had previously been subsidiaries of the Deseret News . The LDS Church divested itself of the Seattle 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 on behalf of Entercom Divestiture Trust, following Entercom's merger with CBS Radio, and pending their divestment to a third-party. [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 S. Monson the preceding January. [7] The deal was completed on September 21, 2018.

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/MarketStationChannel
Owned sinceAffiliation
Salt Lake City KSL-TV **5 (38)1949 NBC

Radio stations

AM StationsFM Stations
MarketStationOwned SinceCurrent Format
Phoenix KTAR 6202004 Sports talk
(ESPN Radio)
KTAR-FM 92.32006 News/Talk
KMVP-FM 98.72004Sports talk
Sacramento KHTK 11402018Sports talk
KYMX 96.12018 Adult contemporary
KZZO 100.52018 Hot adult contemporary
KNCI 105.12018 Country music
San Francisco KOIT 96.52018
(previously owned from 1975–2008)
Adult contemporary
KUFX 98.52018 Classic rock
KMVQ-FM 99.72018 Contemporary hit radio
KBLX-FM 102.92018 Urban adult contemporary
Denver KEPN 16002015Sports talk
KKFN 104.32015Sports talk
KOSI 101.12015Adult contemporary
KYGO-FM 98.52015Country music
Salt Lake City KSL 1160 **1922News/Talk
KSL-FM 102.7
(simulcasts KSL AM)
KSFI 100.3 **2003
(previously owned from 1947–1977)
Soft adult contemporary
KRSP-FM 103.52003Classic rock
Seattle - Tacoma KTTH 7702008
(previously owned from 1995–1997)
Conservative talk
KIRO 7102008
(previously owned from 1964–1997)
Sports radio
(ESPN Radio)
KIRO-FM 97.32008News/Talk

Former Bonneville-owned stations

Television stations

City of license/MarketStationChannel
Years ownedCurrent ownership status
Cedar City - St. George KCSG 8 (14)1998–2002 MeTV owned-and-operated (O&O), owned by Weigel Broadcasting
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 StationFM Station
MarketStationYears ownedCurrent ownership status
Phoenix KIDR 7401991–1997Owned by En Familia, Inc.
KMVP 8602004–2017 KNAI , owned by Farmworker Educational Radio Network
KHTC 96.91991–1997 KMXP , owned by iHeartMedia
San Francisco KSFB 12601982–2008Owned by Relevant Radio
KBWF 95.71997–2008 KGMZ-FM , owned by Entercom
KDFC-FM 102.11997–2008 KRBQ , owned by Entercom
Los Angeles KBRT 7401969–1980Owned by Crawford Broadcasting
KBIG 104.31969–1998Owned by iHeartMedia
KZLA-FM 93.91998–2000 KLLI , owned by Meruelo Group
KSWD 100.32008–2015 KKLQ , owned by Educational Media Foundation
Washington, D.C. WBQH 10502004–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WFED 15001998–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WWFD 820
(simulcasts WFED)
1996–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WTOP-FM 103.51998–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WTLP 103.9
(simulcasts WTOP-FM)
1996–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WWWT-FM 107.7
(simulcasts WTOP-FM)
1998–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WPRS-FM 104.11996–2008Owned by Urban One
Idaho Falls - Pocatello KSLJ 6902003–2006 KEII , owned by Riverbend Communications
KSSL 12602003–2006 KNBL , owned by Riverbend Communications
KBLI 16202003–2006defunct, went silent in 2006
KLCE 97.32003–2006Owned by Riverbend Communications
KCVI 101.52003–2006Owned by Riverbend Communications
KFTZ 103.32003–2006Owned by Riverbend Communications
KTHK 105.52003–2006Owned by Riverbend Communications
Chicago WDRV 97.12000–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WWDV 96.9
(simulcasts WDRV)
2000–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WLUP-FM 97.91997–2005 WCKL , owned by Educational Media Foundation
WILV 100.31997–2011 WSHE-FM , owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WTMX 101.91970–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
Kansas City KCMO 8101993–1997 WHB , owned by Union Broadcasting
(KCMO is now at 710 AM)
KMBZ 9801967–1997Owned by Entercom
KCMO-FM 94.91993–1997Owned by Cumulus Media
KLTH 99.71967–1997 KZPT , owned by Entercom
St. Louis WIL 14302000–2008defunct, went silent in 2020
was KZQZ at time of license cancellation
WARH 106.52000–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WIL-FM 92.32000–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WXOS 101.12000–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
New York WNSR 105.11967–1997 WWPR-FM , owned by iHeartMedia
Cincinnati WKRQ 101.92008–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WREW 94.92008–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WUBE-FM 105.12008–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
WYGY 97.32008–2011Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting
Dallas–Fort Worth KAAM 13101978–1994 KTCK , owned by Cumulus Media
KZPS 92.51978–1997Owned by iHeartMedia
KDGE 94.51995–1997 KZMJ , owned by Urban One
Houston KLDE 94.51997–1998 KTBZ-FM , owned by iHeartMedia
Salt Lake City KUTR 8202004–2008Owned by Truth Broadcasting Corporation
St. George KDXU 8902003–2006Owned by Cherry Creek Media
KUNF 12102003–2006 KHKR , owned by Cherry Creek Media
KREC 98.12003–2006Owned by Cherry Creek Media
KSNN 106.12003–2006 KIYK 107.3, owned by Cherry Creek Media
Seattle - Tacoma KNWX 10901995 KFNQ , owned by iHeartMedia
KIRO-FM 100.71964–1997 KKWF , owned by Entercom

See also

Related Research Articles

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KOIT Radio station in San Francisco, California

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KKFN Sports radio station in Longmont–Denver, Colorado

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KYMX Radio station in Sacramento, California

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  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. "Entercom-CBS Merger: Sales, Trades and LMAs". Inside Radio. November 17, 2017. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  6. 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