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Deseret News Publishing Company announces new leaders; Robin Ritch named president and publisher

Keith B. McMullin, CEO of Deseret Management Corp., right, announces that Robin Ritch will become president and publisher of Deseret News Publishing Company at the Conference Center Little Theater in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
Keith B. McMullin, CEO of Deseret Management Corp., right, announces that Robin Ritch will become president and publisher of Deseret News Publishing Company at the Conference Center Little Theater in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Today the Deseret Management Corporation named Robin Ritch as President and Publisher of Deseret News Publishing Company. Ritch succeeds Jeff Simpson, who will be leaving in June to serve a three year ecclesiastical assignment for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Drawing on her diverse background in technology and innovation, Ritch has most recently served as Senior Vice President of Operations at the Deseret News, helping Deseret to launch key products and implement their ongoing innovation strategy.

“Robin is a transformational leader,” says Keith McMullin, CEO of Deseret Management Corporation. “She has a strong ability to think strategically and also the ability to operationalize at a very high level. We are fortunate to have her in this role.”

Ritch brings a wealth of experience including business and product leadership positions at Cisco, Intel, Microsoft and Tenfold. She led emerging technologies at Cisco, creating numerous new business units and product lines. Ritch has served on a number of advisory boards for startups, social good businesses and was a partner with Social Venture Partners. Ritch is a graduate of both Brigham Young University (BS, Finance) and the University of Washington (MBA).

Ritch and Simpson worked closely together to lead Deseret News through a critical period in the organization’s history, including launching new products and expanding Deseret’s influence beyond Utah. Together with the rest of the leadership team, they have pioneered these changes through a unique time of both challenge and opportunity in the industry, allowing this venerable company to remain at the forefront of innovation.

“Jeff’s leadership at Deseret News has been critical in a time of great change,” added McMullin. “We have known about his new assignment for some months, and that has given us time to plan a smooth transition. We are grateful to have a leader like Robin on the team who can step in without missing a beat.”

Related organizational changes were also announced, including Doug Wilks’ promotion to the role of Executive Editor of the Deseret News and Hal Boyd returning to the Deseret News as the Executive Editor of Deseret National, leading the effort to lift Deseret to the national stage. Sarah Jane Weaver, Editor of the Church News, also took on additional responsibilities as Assistant Editor of the Deseret News.

About Deseret News:

Deseret News readership has doubled over the last two years, reaching 10 million readers last month on its owned platforms, with more than 75% of those outside of Utah, and millions more on other platforms such as Apple News and Microsoft News. Their new Deseret magazine also launched in 2021 with an impressive initial circulation of 50,000.

Deseret News was founded in 1850 at the edge of the American frontier by pioneers with the motto, “Liberty & Truth.” Today, it is Utah’s oldest continuously operating business. It is part of a portfolio of media entities at the Deseret Management Corporation, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Deseret News retains and reaffirms its commitment to being a standard-bearer of journalistic integrity and principled reporting. Deseret News aims to elevate understanding, challenge assumptions and illuminate context from our long-standing heritage of faith, family, and the fundamental values that build strong societies.