SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's oldest continuously published daily newspaper has a new leader.
Deseret Management Corp. announced Thursday that Clark Gilbert will become the first-ever president and chief executive officer of the Deseret News.
Gilbert, who has served in the same position for Deseret Digital Media since 2009, will now oversee both entities.
Deseret News publisher Jim Wall and editor Joe Cannon will continue in their current positions, reporting to Gilbert.
Gilbert said he sees tremendous growth potential for the Deseret News in both its print and online editions.
"If you look at what has happened in the last two years of the Deseret News, we've seen either steady circulation or circulation increase," he said. "Last year, the Deseret News was the highest growing readership product in the country, if you look at print and online."
He said the publication is committed to continuing its efforts to grow circulation even further.
Mark Willes, president and CEO of Deseret Management — parent company of the Deseret News, Deseret Digital Media, Deseret Book, KSL Television and KSL Radio — said Gilbert is ideally suited to help the newspaper reinvent its print version while accelerating the growth of DeseretNews.com.
"We now think that we're at a point where if we have DDM and the Deseret News work more closely together, we can do some things that are really very powerful," Willes said.
Cannon said Gilbert will bring a wealth of experience and innovative thinking that will be of great benefit to the publication and its audience.
"This will move us to where we need to go," Cannon said, and having the newspaper and Deseret Digital Media working "in sync" is a positive development for all involved.
Wall added the readership will continue to grow as the Deseret News implements more innovative growth strategies using its available print and online media platforms.
As for the immediate future, Gilbert expressed excitement about the coordination of efforts between Deseret Digital Media and the Deseret News in their continuing commitment to being a trusted voice of news and information — a commitment that the Deseret News started 160 years ago.
"We really believe we have a great heritage here," Gilbert said. And as the longest continually running business in Utah, "we believe it bodes for a great future."