Leadership changes at Deseret Media Co.: Douglas Wilks to manage integrated newsroom of paper, TV and radio

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 20 2011 8:57 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The Deseret News announced Douglas Wilks as managing editor, overseeing an integrated newsroom that feeds the newspaper and KSL Television and NewsRadio.

Wilks, who will begin Jan. 9, joins the Deseret Media Co. from the New York Times Regional Media Group's The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California, where he worked for 13 years. Previously he held management positions at Gannett and Scripps League Newspaper Group publications.

Most recently as newsroom editor, Wilks led The Press Democrat's breaking and regional news teams through a major transition toward round-the-clock newsgathering across multiple print and digital platforms at a time of diminishing resources.

Wilks' appointment follows Deseret Digital Media Chief Executive Officer Clark Gilbert's plan to staff the company with a mix of business professionals working alongside those with journalism pedigrees.

"Wilks has a valuable combination of both traditional journalistic skills and a forward-looking industry perspective," Gilbert said. "Along with decades of legacy newspaper reporter and editor experience, he understands the digital model that the Deseret News is committed to and in particular has shown great skill at managing news room resources in a multiplatform, integrated age."

During his time at The Press Democrat Wilks oversaw coverage of the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census and the shifting demographics of Sonoma County. He also managed and edited reporting on the impacts of legal and illegal immigration locally and throughout the state.

Wilks is a founding editor of Savor Wine Country Magazine, which is distributed in Western editions of The Sunday New York Times.

From 1996 to 1998, he worked as the city editor for Gannett's Marin Independent Journal in Novato, California, overseeing all local news content and competing with the San Francisco Chronicle for readership. During his tenure, the Marin Independent Journal was recognized as a "Top Five" Gannett paper out of its roughly 90 local and regional papers. Wilks was one of a dozen editors to develop writing strategies for the Pacific Group of Gannett newspapers, which were then instituted at media properties throughout the country.

From 1989 to 1996, Wilks was city editor and then managing editor at Scripps' The Napa Valley Register, in Napa, California. He began his journalism career in 1983 as a writer and then editor for The Daily Herald, Scripps League Newspaper Group in Provo, Utah.

Wilks studied mass communications and journalism at Brigham Young University, attended the American Press Institute City Editors training program and received specialized training at the National Institute of Computer Assisted Reporting Census intensive. He is fluent in Swedish.

EMAIL: jburke@desnews.com

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