Longtime journalist and editor Sarah Jane Weaver has been named Editor of the Deseret News, joining Executive Editor Doug Wilks and Publisher Burke Olsen in top leadership positions of the nearly 174-year-old publication.

The announcement was made Tuesday in a meeting with staff members by Sheri Dew, executive vice president and chief content officer of Deseret Management Corp., the parent company of the Deseret News.

Jeff Simpson, DMC’s chief executive officer, said about the new appointment: “Sarah has a keen journalistic instinct and a tireless work ethic. She has the leadership ability to mobilize a team to do great work. She is always on the hunt for the best ideas at the right time, and that quality is vital in today’s media environment.”

Weaver, who will transition from her current position as Executive Editor of Church News, replaces Hal Boyd, who earlier this month accepted a position as chief of staff at Brigham Young University. Boyd will maintain his position as Executive Editor of Deseret Magazine.

Weaver becomes the first female editor of the Deseret News since its founding in June 1850.

She was appointed the top editor of Church News in 2017, expanding its reach and influence to Latter-day Saints more than tenfold. She also began translation of its content into Spanish and Portuguese, established a video team, and led podcasting efforts.

“Sarah has been part of our executive leadership teams for years and has a seasoned understanding of what it takes to be a strong journalist in today’s fractured media landscape,” Dew said. “She has also shown a great ability to create successful media products. We’re excited to have her expertise focused on the Deseret News.”

Sarah Jane Weaver speaks to the staff after being announced as the new editor of the Deseret News during a staff meeting, Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in Salt Lake City. Weaver is the first female editor of the News. Doug Wilks, remains as executive editor. | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News

Weaver was honored by Editor and Publisher magazine last year in its “20 over 50″ issue, recognizing journalists nominated “for their strong work ethic, transformational mindsets, commitment to journalistic and publishing excellence and ability to lead during challenging times,” E&P said.

“I am honored to continue building on the strong foundation laid by many previous Deseret News editors and look forward to working with talented Deseret News writers, editors, photographers and designers to take the trusted voice of the Deseret News to a growing audience in Utah, the West and across the nation,” Weaver said.

Weaver graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in journalism and history, serving as editor-in-chief of the BYU Daily Universe. She later completed graduate studies in executive leadership at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Her journalism career extended to Arizona, where she was a Pulliam Fellow at the Arizona Republic, before returning to Utah as a reporter with the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah. Since 1995, she has traveled the world covering news pertinent to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in various capacities with Church News.

Ryan Jensen, Editor of Church News, will assume leadership of the print and website publication with Weaver’s appointment to Deseret News.

Deseret News is Utah’s oldest continuously operating business, founded in 1850 by Latter-day Saint pioneers. Deseret News is one of several media properties operated by the Deseret Management Corp., which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.