Deseret News Announces Appointment of Award-winning Journalist Douglas Wilks as Managing Editor of DMC News Division

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Hiring of industry veteran marks another management milestone for Utah’s oldest daily newspaper and leading newspaper website

On the heels of announcing three senior management promotions earlier this week, the Deseret News today announced the appointment of veteran newspaper editor and award-winning journalist Douglas Wilks as Managing Editor of the Deseret Media Companies (DMC) News Division, effective Jan. 9, 2012.

Wilks joins the News Division following 13 years of reporting and editing positions at the New York Times Regional Media Group’s The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif., as well as previous management positions with Gannett and Scripps League Newspaper Group publications. In his new capacity, Wilks will oversee an integrated newsroom that feeds the Deseret News,, KSL Television, and KSL NewsRadio.

Founded by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) pioneers in 1850, the Deseret News (pronounced De-se-RET) is Utah’s oldest daily newspaper and leading newspaper website. Wilks’ appointment is consistent with the company’s plan to hire a mix of highly accomplished business professionals working alongside those with journalism pedigrees. This combination of talent and methodology is fueling a new business model that addresses issues unique to a 21st Century newsroom.

“Doug Wilks brings more than 25 years in journalism to our leadership team,” said Clark Gilbert, President and CEO of the Deseret News. “He has developed news coverage strategies with emphasis on reporting and writing across multiple print and digital platforms. He understands the competitive news environment and has helped lead the cultural change with the Press Democrat newsroom to balance the needs of print, web and mobile applications without compromising journalistic integrity. Doug’s appointment demonstrates our continued commitment to providing the best local news coverage in the state.”

In 2010, under the leadership of Mr. Gilbert, the paper’s new management team has streamlined the editorial content of the Deseret News to provide “intellectually rigorous faith and family-oriented” news to an underserved market. At the heart of the paper’s editorial strategy are six pillars: Family, Financial Responsibility, Excellence in Education, Care for the Needy, Values in the Media and Faith in the Community. New distribution tactics have expanded the audience both locally in Utah and across the country.

Douglas Wilks

Douglas Wilks is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of newsroom management experience. Prior to joining the Deseret News, he served in a variety of capacities at the New York Times Regional Media Group’s The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif., since 1998. Serving as the city editor and regional news 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.

Highlights of Wilks’ tenure at The Press Democrat include spearheading coverage of the 2000 and 2010 Census and the shifting demographics of Sonoma County. He also managed and edited reporting on the significant impacts of both legal and illegal immigration locally and throughout the state. In 2005, Wilks was selected for a program developed by The New York Times Regional Media Group, the Readership Institute and the Media Management Center at Northwestern University to bring leadership strategies to newsrooms that improve readership.

Wilks is a founding editor of Savor Wine Country Magazine (distributed in Western editions of The Sunday New York Times), and continues to be a consulting editor there. From 1996 to 1998, he worked as the city editor for the Marin Independent Journal (Gannett) in Novato, Calif. In that capacity, he oversaw all local news content and competed with the San Francisco Chronicle for readership. During his tenure, the Marin Independent Journal was recognized as a “Top Five” Gannett paper in its then stable of 90-plus 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 The Napa Valley Register (Scripps League Newspaper Group) in Napa, Calif. 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 (NICAR) Census intensive. He is fluent in Swedish.

About the Deseret News
The Deseret News is Utah's largest online and oldest continually published daily newspaper. The publication is a trusted source of local and national news serving a growing global audience. Other publications of the Deseret News include the Church News, Mormon Times and El Observador. Deseret News is a part of Deseret Media Companies. For more information visit

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