KSL Broadcast Group changes management and organizational structure

KSL Broadcast Group changes management and organizational structure

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Deseret Management Corporation announced Monday changes to the senior management and organizational structure of its KSL Broadcast Group.

The changes address the impending departure of Bob Johnson, KSL's current President and Chief Executive Officer, who is leaving May 1 to become the President and CEO of Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators, the organization that administers the health and retirement benefits for employers affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Johnson replaces Michael ‘J' Stapley who is leaving to serve as mission president in the Argentina Buenos Aires South Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mark Willes, President and CEO of Deseret Management Corporation, will now also serve as CEO of the KSL Broadcast Group, which includes broadcast stations KSL Television, KSL NewsRadio, KRSP-FM (the Arrow), and KSFI (FM 100.3), as well as Bonneville Communications, a strategic marketing group, Bonneville Distribution and Bonneville Satellite Company.

Jeff Simpson, currently Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Deseret Book Company, will leave his assignment at Deseret Book to become the KSL Executive Vice President and COO. In his new assignment, Simpson will report to Willes. In addition, Con Psarras, Vice President and Managing News Director KSL Television and KSL NewsRadio, and Michelle Kettle Torsak, Vice President KSL Programming, will report to Willes. Psarras and Torsak are responsible for the self-generated news and other content on KSL Television and KSL NewsRadio.

In announcing these changes, Willes stated, "All of us involved with the KSL Broadcast Group are pleased for the opportunity Bob Johnson has to lead Deseret Mutual. He has served for two decades in the management of KSL and related broadcast properties and has produced exceptional financial and non-financial results.

"His departure provides me the opportunity to become more closely associated with the remarkable employees that make the KSL Broadcast Group an extraordinary collection of broadcast assets. This is a time of dynamic change in the way information and entertainment are communicated.

"The digital revolution has spawned new technologies and communications habits that require constant evolution in the business processes of media companies. I look forward to working with the KSL management team and employees to keep KSL in the forefront of that evolution, while continuing to provide to the Salt Lake and Utah markets the news of record and leading entertainment they expect from our brands."

Sheri Dew, the President and CEO of Deseret Book , where Simpson currently serves, noted," Jeff Simpson is a remarkable executive and leader. He has a rich and varied media background that will be a great strength to KSL. As KSL is a sister company to Deseret Book, I look forward to continuing my association and collaboration with Jeff."

Jeff Simpson declared, "I am both humbled by this opportunity and excited by its prospects. Working with the amazing authors, artists, and associates within the Deseret Book family has given me a chance to be immersed in stories and products that are particular meaningful.

"Similarly, KSL is passionate about its stories and audience. The people at KSL are talented broadcasters, very well respected in their field and deeply loyal to their Salt Lake and Utah communities. Each year they receive numerous awards that are a testament to their exceptional journalism and community service. I will be proud to associate with and learn from such a talented group."

Prior to being appointed President and CEO of Deseret Management Corporation in March 2009, Willes retired as chairman, president and CEO of Time Mirror in Los Angeles. Prior to his service at Time Mirror, Willes was vice chairman of General Mills, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Prior to joining Deseret Book in 2004, Simpson was a founder and President of Excel Entertainment Group, a company particularly known for its LDS cinema productions and record labels. Prior to the creation of Excel Entertainment, Simpson was an executive with Walt Disney Pictures and Television.

Deseret Management Corporation was organized in 1966 to manage commercial companies affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today it owns and oversees life insurance, media and hospitality businesses.

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