Meet the Morons | Opinion | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Meet the Morons

Look past the stereotypes at the people behind City Weekly

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The box-office maybe-hit Meet the Mormons profiles members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around the world in an attempt to challenge Mormon stereotypes and misperceptions. This column has a smaller budget, so there's no footage of Costa Rica or Nepal's scenery, but it's a similar opportunity to get to know a few of the people behind City Weekly.

I've been in the newspaper business for 21 years. I received a bachelor's of fine arts with a concentration in graphic design from Indiana University. Back then, they had just come out with the first version of Quark Xpress. I started out as an account executive at a daily newspaper in my hometown and eventually ended up working for the weekly alternative newspaper. This December marks my 14th anniversary at City Weekly, and every week is still like Christmas as I see our papers roll off the presses. Making something that I can physically touch every week never ceases to amaze me, and I have made friendships here that will last my lifetime.

I grew up Mormon in Davis County, and went to the University of Utah with plans to be a high school English teacher. Three years at my college paper changed my mind, and I decided to go into journalism despite the dire predictions of pretty much everyone in the world. Through a few strokes of luck, I ended up with a gig at City Weekly working with the best journalists in the state. My parents' perception at the time was that City Weekly was "that paper with ... the ads." The first cover story I helped edit was indeed about sex toys, but my mom has since become a cover-story devotee and my dad loves our Sudoku puzzle.

Growing up, I had to hide my weekly copy of the Phoenix New Times from my parents, since they are ultra-conservative and disapproved of their son reading a liberal alternative weekly. Flash forward to 2008, when, after a 60-day stint in rehab, I was job-hunting in Salt Lake City, and soon found myself selling ads and building a life here. I am the token non-drinking homosexual at the paper. City Weekly has become my adopted dysfunctional Utah family, and I am proud to live in such a beautiful, welcoming city.

After dropping out of college upon realizing it was nothing like Animal House, Van Wilder or Good Will Hunting, Bill Frost bravely struck out into the world armed with only a minor grasp on the English language and an overblown sense of entitlement. He copes with his career demands and his humanitarian workload supporting Strippers Without Borders with an unwavering belief in the coming alien apocalypse, followed by a godless oblivion.

Were it not for a terrible decision on the part of his great-great grandfather, who turned down William Hesketh Lever's 1885 offer to go 50-50 on a new soap business, Andy Sutcliffe would never have had to work a day in his life. Instead, he's advised George McGovern on how not to win a presidential election, conducted a helicopter trip with Jacques Cousteau, served as publisher/GM of five alternative newspapers and has been John Saltas' friend and colleague for more than 25 years.

Fifteen years ago, I was a tragically underemployed freelancer, a refugee from California trying to find a place to belong in the Beehive State. Then John Saltas—desperate to fill a staff position at City Weekly's Park City-based sister publication, Mountain Times—took a chance on me just because Roger Ebert had some nice things to say about my movie reviews. Now, long after Mountain Times disappeared, City Weekly is a part of who I am as a Utahn, providing a daily sense of mission: that I'm part of something that matters here, serving a readership that needs us to stick around.

Also known as a dad, husband, son and DJ, I'm a 14-year City Weekly vet. I manage the circulation department, ensuring papers are delivered to the correct locations in a timely manner, and oversee approximately 18 contract drivers from Logan to St. George. I'm not a Utah native but, "heck," I've been here long enough to be considered a Utahn. I love soccer, my kids, NCIS, Criminal Minds, cooking, gardening, fishing and—oh yes—my wife. I don't like Utah's drivers or its politics, but rest assured, your City Weekly paper will be there on time and loo-kin' good!

I learned I loved newspapers pretty early in life. When I was a student at Payson High School, I worked for the school newspaper, and I even had my own dorky little newspaper called The Courier, which I'd make in Microsoft Word and pass out to family. But it wasn't until I'd been working at City Weekly for a year as a copy editor that I discovered I loved writing about music. I eventually became the music editor, and have had a blast getting to know all the dedicated musicians who make our local music scene great.

When I was 4, I tried to put on a doll-size Cabbage Patch Kid astronaut costume and got my penis stuck in the zipper. My sisters, who were babysitting me at the time, had to phone our neighbors to come over and remove it with a pair of pliers. At that moment, I learned a lot about humility. Part of my job at City Weekly is to write about weird and humorous stories, and I always find it helpful to remember that no matter how easy it is to make fun of someone or something, I was once a dumb kid who got his carrot stuck in a doll outfit.