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KSL celebrates 40 years of Doug Wright

Doug Wright's newest friend, a baby bear, near his desk in March, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY – After nearly 40 years at KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM, talk show host Doug Wright is set to step back from five-day a week on-air hosting duties on his four-decade anniversary, June 1st.

Wright will continue at the station as a special news consultant and correspondent, providing insight and commentary on top news stories for both KSL TV and KSL Newsradio.

He will also continue to host the popular and long-running “KSL Movie Show” on Fridays from 9 a.m. – noon.

“Doug Wright is synonymous with KSL,” said KSL’s General Manager, Tanya Vea. “His show is the place where thought leaders go to talk and tune in to listen. Doug’s insights and interviews have made a significant impact in this state. He is an irreplaceable part of the KSL legacy.”

June 1 is not only Wright’s last daily show on KSL Newsradio; it is his 40th anniversary with the station.

“[I] started over on Social Hall,” Wright remembered, referring to KSL’s original studio location, near where the City Creek Harmons is located now. “I’ve often wondered, you know, had I stayed at KCPX, what a different career and life I would have had.”

Born and raised in Sugarhouse, Wright got his first job in radio when he was just 16-years old at KDYL in Tooele. Soon after, he landed part-time jobs at KSOP and KRSP while still holding down a job at a grocery store. Within a few years, he found his permanent home with KSL Newsradio.

“We were full service at the time. We were playing music,” Wright said. “Our slogan at the time was ‘the best of everything.'”

Wright started as production director, before becoming a full-time talk show host in 1985.

“They asked… if I would kind of temporarily fill in until they found somebody decent, and they never did find somebody decent,” Wright jokes, “so I’ve been a temporary employee for 33 years.”

Joking aside, Wright’s on-air style has won him a number of awards. In 2010, Wright was honored with the National Association of Broadcasters’ Marconi Award for “Large market personality of the year.”

Over 40 years, Wright has interviewed thousands of guests on the Doug Wright Show, including lawmakers, clergy members and ordinary Utah citizens. Wright says his goal has been to provide a platform for people of all political affiliations, religions and backgrounds to come together and better understand each other.

Wright says one of his most memorable moments in the studio has to be the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

“I’d never seen anything like that, hope to never see anything like that again,” he said, adding that what sticks with him now is the station’s unified coverage effort. “The marshaling of energy and expertise… it was a day, again, like I’ve never seen and hope to never see again.”

Wright’s happiest memory of his time at KSL is of meeting his wife, D, who was working for KSL TV at the time.

Wright is a passionate collector of old books, coins, bottles, mining equipment and antique radios. He has a deep interest in Utah history and, more specifically, the old mining industry. He and D own a cabin in the town of Eureka, 75 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

On April 2, KSL will debut “Dave and Dujanovic,” an original show that will air Monday-Thursday 11am-noon, immediately following a two-hour “Doug Wright Show.” “Dave and Dujanovic” is hosted by long-time KSL TV investigative reporter Debbie Dujanovic and sports producer Dave Noriega.

“It’s impossible to fill Doug’s shoes,” said Dujanovic. “However, we’ll emulate Doug by doing our best to be inclusive, understanding, and most importantly – by bringing to light the issues affecting Utahns the most.”

After Doug’s last daily show on June 1, “Dave and Dujanovic” will expand to a full three hours, Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. – noon.