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Tale of 2 TV stations

Published March 9, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Excellent article by Paul Beebe about the longtime local TV news wars between KUTV and KSL ("Utah TV viewers continue to abandon KSL Ch. 5," Tribune, March 3). Having worked in this business for the past 25 years, half of it with ABC4, I felt one major element was missing.

It's not just that viewers have left KSL; it's equally about what KUTV has done to steal, change and grow with Utah's ever-changing audience.

Changes in viewership happen over years, even a decade. KSL's erosion and KUTV's growth were really set in motion in 2002, when then KUTV general manger Dave Phillips moved the station downtown, upped its profile, emphasized a larger and younger news team, and turned the cameras outward into the community, not just on the talents in the studio. Most stations now copy its format.

A host of good decisions by lots of people created today's success, including a strong anchor team, "Get Gephardt" and a commitment to high school sports. It takes years for people to catch on and change their viewing habits.

Tom Love

Salt Lake City