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Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Doug Wilks talks to Deseret News staff members after being named editor at the newspaper's offices in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Wilks replaces Paul Edwards, who on Thursday was named Gov. Gary Herbert's deputy chief of staff with special responsibility for policy and strategic communications.

SALT LAKE CITY — Doug Wilks has been named editor of the Deseret News.

Wilks, who has been the News Division managing editor for the Deseret News and KSL Broadcasting for the past five years, has more than 30 years of experience in the news industry. He replaces Paul Edwards, who on Thursday was named Gov. Gary Herbert's deputy chief of staff for policy and communications.

Keith B. McMullin, chairman of the Deseret News Publishing Company board of directors, made the announcement to the staff Thursday afternoon.

"We are deeply grateful for the timely and accomplished service of Paul Edwards," McMullin said. "Paul has elevated the stature of the Deseret News, not only in Utah but throughout the newspaper industry nationwide, and he will certainly bring the same rigor to his new post in Gov. Herbert's administration. By the same token, we warmly welcome Doug Wilks as the new editor of the Deseret News and feel confident that he, with his rich background in the news industry, will continue to build and strengthen the voice and reach of this venerable news organization."

McMullin called the new editor an "experienced and thoughtful news veteran and a much respected leader who knows how to lead by persuasion and example."

"We feel confident about the future of the Deseret News, and we look forward to Doug's editorial leadership moving forward," McMullin said.

As managing editor of the News Division, Wilks led a multiplatform newsroom for the Deseret News and KSL TV and Radio, as well as having influence on all of Deseret Management Corp.’s digital news platforms, including deseretnews.com and ksl.com.

"I’m humbled by the trust shown to me by the leadership and staff of the Deseret News as I move into this assignment," Wilks said, noting the tremendous leadership of Edwards and Clark Gilbert, who reshaped the Deseret News into not just a regional newspaper, but a voice of national importance and digital innovation. "Our outstanding journalists will continue to provide impactful, award-winning work as we press into the new year. They've proven they are up to the challenge."

Prior to joining the Deseret News and KSL, Wilks worked in various editing and leadership capacities in the team-structured newsroom of The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, California, then part of the New York Times Regional Media Group. He also worked as city editor for the Marin Independent Journal, formerly with Gannett, and managing editor and city editor of the Napa Valley Register, then a Scripps League Newspapers publication.

McMullin commended Edwards for the thoughtful analysis he has brought to the Deseret News as its editor for almost five years.

"We will miss the insights Paul Edwards brought to bear on some of the compelling issues of our time," McMullin said. "He will leave a lasting imprint on the Deseret News."

Established in 1850, the Deseret News is the oldest newspaper in the Mountain West and the oldest continuously operating business in Utah. Its print and digital content are distributed across the nation and beyond, constituting the most widely read news source originating from the state of Utah.