SALT LAKE CITY — When you've been at the top of your field for nearly four decades, making the decision to retire is a moment to savor, not lament.
Utah's leading midday radio voice, Doug Wright, announced Thursday that he'll be stepping away from his daily talk show on KSL Newsradio in June, bringing to a close one of the most storied broadcasting careers in Beehive State history.
"It's a joyful thing for me and a celebration of a wonderful career that has been facilitated by some of the best people I've had the chance to work with," he told his audience of on-air listeners.
A Utah native, Wright has been a fixture on KSL's airwaves since 1978, having begun his career as a rock 'n' roll disc jockey as a teenager. Over the years he established himself as one of Utah's most trusted voices for reasonable and thoughtful insights on local and national issues in news and politics.
Raised in the Sugar House area of Salt Lake City, Wright began his broadcast career while still in high school. He has received many awards during his 50-year radio career for his professional and community efforts, including induction into the Utah Broadcast Association Hall of Fame. In 2010, Wright was awarded the Marconi Award for Large Market Radio Announcer of the Year — among the most prestigious national awards in the broadcast industry.
For that past 33 years, he has hosted the top-rated “The Doug Wright Show” on KSL Newsradio, in addition to being featured weekday mornings on KSL-TV where he shares his views on breaking events. On Friday mornings, he also hosts the popular “The Movie Show,” discussing movie reviews and entertainment topics.
When Wright steps away into "semiretirement," his show will be replaced by "Dave and Dujanovic," hosted by Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. The show currently airs weeknights from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on KSL Newsradio. Wright will continue to host the movie show on Fridays and make occasional on-air appearances for high-profile news and political coverage.
"This is a wonderful progression," he said. "It's an opportunity few people in my business have. To be able to make a transition like this ... I am so grateful."
Speaking through tears while making the announcement on air, Wright noted that working at KSL is where he met his wife, D Wright, to whom he has been married for more than 30 years.
"I fell in love with her the first day I saw her," Wright said. "Of all the amazing experiences and all of the incredible things that have happened to me here at KSL, that's the best!"
Wright's final full day on air will be June 1. Noriega and Dujanovic will take over their full-time midday slot on June 4.