The Salt Lake Tribune said Monday that the news organization will print a weekly publication from next year and will complete its daily print option for newspaper subscribers.
The Tribune’s board of directors announced the decision on Monday, shortly after The Tribune and Deseret News issued a joint statement confirming the end of a long-standing joint operational agreement between Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune in late 2020.
With the end of JOA, both publications will negotiate their printing needs with third parties, continue to improve their digital footprints and will be free to outline their print and digital futures independently of each other.
“In the age of large printing presses, the profits from these joint operating agreements were significant. But today̵
The change does not mean the end of printed publications in newspapers, but it is a change in the way the printing will be done. Lowe said he met with 161 Utah Media Group employees on Monday to announce the upcoming end of the printing press, detailing the compensation packages.
In addition, Deseret News announced related changes to the staff meeting on Monday, noting benefits for 18 employees, most of the newspaper’s visual editing and sales departments, some of which will happen sometime next year. Six journalists in three departments were released.
“Any change and restructuring can be painful, but we are determined to organize ourselves in a way that will help us invest in some of the best journalism and commentary in the country and increase our reach not only locally but also nationally and internationally, ”Jeff Simpson, president and publisher of Deseret News, said. Further announcements are expected on Tuesday, Simpson said.
The Salt Lake printing facility is operated by the Utah Media Group. The business also includes contracts with regional publications of several state and national newspapers and other publications.
“Deseret News has been an exceptional and constructive partner in JOA in this financially turbulent industry,” said Paul Huntsman, chairman of the Salt Lake Tribune. “As The Tribune progresses, our commitment to our readers is unchanged: to provide reliable and informative news, analysis and comments to our readers,” he said in a statement.
Simpson also praised the partnership of the two newspapers, which maintained separate and independent editions throughout the duration of the joint operational agreement.
“The Salt Lake Tribune has been a great partner over the years and the partnership has benefited the community in many ways. We love our thousands of print subscribers, along with the millions who read to us online every month, “Simpson said in a statement. The joint operation agreements were protected by the Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970 under the administration of President Richard Nixon.
Federal law has created loopholes in antitrust regulation to allow publications to share certain resources while maintaining separate and independent news collection and editorial functions. Monitored by the US Department of Justice and designed to create newspaper viability in a shrinking readership, the Deseret News-Salt Lake Tribune deal is among the last joint operating agreements in the country to be concluded.
Current news markets are almost unlike those of 10 years ago, let alone half a century away from the advent of practice.
Deseret News was founded in 1850 and is the oldest continuous business in Utah. It is part of the portfolio of media organizations of Deseret Management Corp., owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Salt Lake Tribune was acquired by Huntsman from Alden Capital in 2016. Last fall, the Tribune received approval from the Internal Revenue Service to become a public charity 501 (c) (3), opening the door to seek tax-deductible support from readers and philanthropists.
The printing presses are expected to close sometime after the first of the new year.