Edwards will continue to lead the paper's enterprise reporting team, which produces content for the national and local editions.
Chris Lee, who has been the paper's vice president of digital content, was elevated to publisher and executive vice president.
Rick Hall, who has served as managing editor since 1998, was named editor of the Utah edition and executive vice president. In Utah, the News is second only to The Salt Lake Tribune in daily circulation.
The changes are effective immediately.
Gilbert will continue as CEO and president of the paper, and of Deseret Digital Media, which distributes news and information via the Web. He declined on Tuesday to characterize the management moves as a restructuring.
"In many ways, we've been working this way for over six months. This is really a promotion and extension of our current strategy, not a change, per se. This is a recognition that we are both a local and a national newspaper," Gilbert said.
Before Edwards joined the News, he was executive vice president and provost at Southern Virginia University. He has a law degree and a doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of California at Berkeley.
Lee was chairman and CEO at Heritage Makers, a Provo-based provider of Web-to-print photographs, before coming to the News in June 2010. He has a master of business administration from Harvard University.
Hall has been at the News since 1974, when he was hired as a copy boy.