KSL TV news icon Bruce Lindsay calls it a career

Published: Wednesday, May 23 2012 10:31 p.m. MDT

Retiring KSL anchorman Bruce Lindsay gets a hug from Keith McCord as Tanya Vea, KSL executive vice president of news, looks on during the staff goodbye party at the Salt Lake City television station on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Related list: 10 memorable stories covered by Bruce Lindsay

SALT LAKE CITY — After a 38-year career in broadcasting, award-winning KSL news anchor Bruce Lindsay has signed off for his last time.

Lindsay, 61, anchored his final show at 10 p.m. Wednesday, ushering out decades of meticulously produced reports and newscasts which ultimately defined him and his craft.

"Life comes at you fast," Lindsay told colleagues during a farewell gathering Wednesday.

After seeing clips and bloopers from his time spent at KSL — aired in the days leading up to his last at KSL — the broadcasting icon admitted he didn't appreciate "every wonderful minute" as much as he should have along the way.

"I have been richly blessed by my association with all of you."

The emotional send-off was filled with words of thanks from Lindsay, and respect from his colleagues and friends earned from years of rigorous mentoring and hard work, and the broadcaster's dedicated passion for storytelling.

"To this day I struggle to write a piece of copy that Bruce will read word-for-word on the air," fellow KSL anchor and reporter Keith McCord said, joking about Lindsay's meticulous attention to detail.

KSL's Carole Mikita, another fellow anchor and broadcast journalist, said the two "laughed as much as we worked," telling her long-time friend and colleague, "there is no one in this market who doesn't believe you are the best."

Lindsay isn't planning on taking it slow upon retiring from KSL. In July, he and his wife, Shari, and their son Rob, will head to Australia where Lindsay will serve as president of the Australia Perth Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Deanie Wimmer, Lindsay's co-anchor on various shows for the last 12 years, said she is happy for him, but sad for those he is leaving behind.

"Bruce is moving on to something exciting for him, a challenge, and something he is looking forward to," she said. "I can't help but feel happy for him." She said the two have talked about his retirement since it was announced in January, but its arrival is "surreal."

"I've sat next to him every night. I can anticipate the changes he will make in the newscast and I know how he is going to react to things," Wimmer said. "I can hear him read over the scripts and I pass over my chocolate to his desk. It's going to be a tough spot to fill."

Lindsay has worked as KSL's lead anchor for much of his tenure at the station and has  left an impression that is "impossible to replace," said Tanya Vea, executive vice president of news and cross platform development for KSL.

"He is the consummate professional, who was never interested in being the star himself, yet became an institution in this market," she said. "And you can't replace that."

Vea credits Lindsay for years of hard-earned trust in the market, as he stayed with KSL even when others courted him. Lindsay did leave KSL for a short time to work in Los Angeles after his start in the Salt Lake City market in 1974.

"When you think of KSL, there are certain things you think of and Bruce Lindsay is one of them," Vea said. "The impact he's had is not just on the station, but on the community and on broadcasting in this market. He is the face of this station."

Bob Evans, an anchor for a competing Fox News local affiliate, called Lindsay "the Godfather or patriarch of local TV news."

"He is the epitome of a TV journalist," Evans said of Lindsay. "I've always looked up to him and enjoyed his work."

Deseret Management Corp. CEO Keith McMullin said Lindsay has been precise, versatile and adaptive to the many changes in the industry throughout his career.

"You have had an entire community in your hands for the last three-plus decades and now you're going to have 150 to 200 young men and women of tender years … under your charge," he said. "It is with gratitude that we bid you farewell and issue a Godspeed, and say to you now, the most important and challenging part of your life awaits you."

Moving forward, Vea said KSL is taking a new direction with its evening news programs. The different format will include two new anchors alongside Wimmer: Dave McCann, the voice of the Cougars on BYUtv and recent news anchor in Las Vegas, and Mike Headrick, who previously worked in the Salt Lake, Texas, and Ohio markets, most recently anchoring a morning news program in Denver.

"Just as Bruce led a successful era, we are looking forward to creating the next era of KSL," Vea said.

KSL's mainstay Nadine Wimmer and Headrick will co-anchor the weekday 5 p.m. news, while McCann and Wimmer will appear weekdays at 6 p.m., and the three of them together will host the 10 p.m. news programs Monday through Friday.

"KSL has always been a top-notch organization and my goal is to help us get even better," Headrick said. His first day on the air with KSL will be May 29.

Related list: 10 memorable stories covered by Bruce Lindsay

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com

Twitter: wendyleonards

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