Sal Celeski cropped

Sal Celeski

Pioneering Idaho newsman Sal Celeski, the former longtime news director at KTVB Channel 7, died Sunday at the age of 87.

Celeski, who had a long career as a political consultant and was involved in numerous major Idaho campaigns of both parties after he left the station in the 1980s, was referred to as “the father of Idaho journalism” in a 2008 Idaho Press article about longtime KTVB co-anchors Dee Sarton and Carolyn Holly, both of whom Celeski hired.

Bob Krueger, the former longtime KTVB general manager who first hired Celeski in the late 1960s, recalled him shooting photos with a Polaroid camera that would appear on the news that night. “We slowly got into film, and we got into videotape etc., and he was there all along,” Krueger said. “He was the chief photographer and also writing stories for news.”

Celeski oversaw a five-year expansion starting in 1971, when the station moved to its current location on Fairview Avenue, that made it the top-rated news station in the market. “Sal Celeski is 95% responsible,” Krueger said.

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Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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