In 1980 KSL reinvented local television news...again. The number of newsroom employees had increased from six in 1964 to more than one hundred. It was time to reorganize in order to best utilize the talented staff. KSL organized its reporters by individual "beats," similar to newspaper news beats. The beat assignments were arranged according to areas of specified expertise, thus creating what was to become known as "The News Specialists."
One measure of the success experienced by KSL News came in 1983 and 1984. The Channel 5 Eyewitness News was recognized in back-to-back years as the best television news operation in the country. For two years in a row, KSL-TV News received the highest honor given to local television stations, the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. Over the years, KSL received every major award given to news organizations, from the Peabody Award to the duPont-Columbia Award . . . and everything in between. It is one of the most honored local television news operations in the nation.
In 1984 another new era began for KSL when the operation moved from cramped quarters on Social Hall Avenue to a spacious new facility at Broadcast House in the Triad Center in downtown Salt Lake City. For the first time, the station was in a building designed specifically for broadcast use over several years of careful planning. Everything was state-of-the-art, from control rooms and studios to a computerized newsroom. The acquisition in the mid-'80s of a mobile satellite uplink truck, StarWest Five, gave KSL another advantage. Eyewitness News could now go live anywhere and at any time. Full-time reporters could be stationed in northern, central, and southern Utah to cover news developments in those areas.
Technology changed even more rapidly as the '80s turned into the '90s. Advances included stereo sound, closed captioning, Spanish translation, computer word processing and show production, electronic graphics, digital cameras with digital video, and, before the end of 1999, high definition digital transmission. The newsroom installed one of the first computers and computer programs made specifically for news operation. Even news on demand became a reality as "ksl.com" was launched on the World Wide Web, June 1, 1996. Through the years, these new technologies provided more ways to do more stories, more effectively. As a result of improved coverage and quality, the demand for news escalated. This demand changed viewer habits. Six and ten o'clock newscasts were no longer enough. By the time KSL celebrated its 50th birthday on June 1, 1999, Eyewitness News was programming nearly 5 hours of news each and every weekday.