The television news industry and the KSL family are mourning the loss of a true legend. Dick Nourse, the beloved anchorman, left us at 83, leaving behind a remarkable legacy.
From his first appearance in 1964 until his final broadcast in 2007, Nourse became the trusted voice of KSL 5 News, captivating viewers for an incredible 43 years.
Born in 1940 in Grand Junction, Colorado, Nourse possessed a combination of striking looks, intelligence, and, of course, that golden voice. He kickstarted his broadcasting career in radio at KRAX, serving western Colorado and eastern Utah.
In 1964, fate intervened during a visit to his brother in Salt Lake City. KSL offered Nourse a position, diverting him from a planned job in Sacramento. Little did he know that this lucky decision would shape his future and solidify his broadcasting icon position.
After a year as a solo news anchor, KSL brought together Nourse, weatherman Bob Welti, and sportscaster Paul James from Channel 4, creating one of history’s most enduring and popular anchor teams.
The promotion of this dynamic trio was relentless. “The most looked-forward to new program. It’s the No. 1 Channel 5 news with Nourse, Welti, and James. In color, weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m. The No. 1 reason why more people turn to Broadcast House and Channel 5!”
Throughout his career, Nourse worked alongside esteemed colleagues such as Bruce Lindsay, Shelley Thomas, Carole Mikita, Ruth Todd, and Deanie Wimmer. Mark Eubank and later Kevin Eubank handled the weather. At the same time, Jim Nantz, Craig Bolerjack, and Tom Kirkland joined him in delivering sports news.
Throughout his 43-year tenure, Nourse anchored a staggering estimate of more than 20,000 newscasts, becoming a familiar and comforting presence in households across the region.
His career was marked by significant news events, including his coverage of a plane crash on November 11, 1965. Nourse distinguished himself further by being the sole Utah television reporter to travel to Vietnam during the war. He returned in 1997 to gain insight into the Vietnamese perspective on Americans and their involvement in the conflict.
Nourse tackled other major stories, such as the Ted Bundy murder trial, the Hi-Fi murders in Ogden, the Mark Hofmann forgeries and murders, and the tragic events surrounding John Singer, a fundamentalist polygamist who was shot and killed by law enforcement and whose family launched a retaliatory attack nine years later.
Among the highlights of his illustrious career were two unforgettable moments during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Nourse and Wimmer traveled to Greece to accompany the torch to Utah. Nourse himself was chosen as one of the torchbearers. This moment touched him deeply and brought him great honor.
Beyond his professional achievements, Nourse demonstrated incredible resilience as a three-time cancer survivor. In 1980, he received a devastating diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Despite the physical and emotional toll, he underwent chemotherapy treatments and lost weight and his hair, but he never lost his fighting spirit. Nourse returned to work, sharing his journey with tears in his eyes and a catch in his throat. The support and camaraderie he received from his KSL colleagues fueled his determination to overcome the disease.
During his recovery, Nourse spoke candidly with his co-anchor, Shelley Thomas, about the profound impact of his experience. He emphasized the importance of cherishing life and the realization that comes with facing a cancer diagnosis at a relatively young age. Nourse, who had just turned 40 then, reflected on the fear and the realization that he still wanted to accomplish so many things. He made a firm decision to conquer his illness. He became an inspiration to others in their own battles with cancer.
For decades, Nourse dedicated himself to the fight against cancer, pouring his heart and soul into raising awareness and supporting those affected. He cheered on countless individuals who reached out to him upon learning of their own cancer diagnoses. In a remarkable display of solidarity, he even wore those iconic little yellow shorts during a newscast to honor a viewer’s pledge to donate an additional $50 to the American Cancer Society.
While Nourse was undoubtedly a broadcast legend, he was also a cherished friend to many. He possessed a larger-than-life persona, but he always made it a point to connect with people personally, sharing his own struggles to remind everyone that he was just like them.
The passing of Dick Nourse leaves a void in the world of television news. Still, his memory will continue to live on through the countless lives he touched and the enduring impact he made. His dedication, professionalism, and unwavering spirit will inspire those in the industry and beyond.
We bid farewell to a true icon, a beloved figure who graced our screens for over four decades. Rest in peace, Dick Nourse. Your voice and legacy will never be forgotten.