In a historic change, The Salt Lake Tribune will stop printing and issue a daily edition at the end of the year and move to a weekly print newspaper delivered by mail.
Tribune’s non-profit board announced the decision on Monday, shortly after The Tribune and Deseret News issued their decision to end a long-standing partnership.
The two media outlets in Salt Lake City said they had decided despite the fact that the joint operating agreement ̵
The Tribune said the move would not reduce his journalism and that the staff of about 65 people in the newsroom would not be cut due to the decision, although some would be reassigned. Nor will his approach to breaking news change, his board said, with reporters and editors constantly posting stories on their websites.
The long-term redesign of sltrib.com is scheduled to launch “in the coming days”, it says, with updates to mobile applications by the end of the year. According to the board, everyone will provide “up-to-date news, analysis, investigation, profile discovery, powerful photography and a steady stream of unique journalistic offers.”
The weekly print edition will become a showcase for The Tribune’s best corporate work and an in-depth coverage of politics, religion, business, sports, the arts and culture. Its weekly pages will feature stories from The New York Times, The Associated Press and other news services, along with obituaries and other Sunday features.
“As we mourn the loss of our daily print, we look forward to the opportunity to bring an exciting new weekly product into our readers’ homes,” said interim editor David Neuss. “It will feature Tribune’s journalistic readers who have grown up with confidence and expectations, along with new elements – all packaged in an energetic edition.”
Deseret News said in a statement that it would share “some of its future plans” on Tuesday. The newspaper was founded in 1850 and is owned and managed by a media subsidiary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
News’s editorial board on Monday released an online invitation to readers to “Pioneer with us” and “engage with us on every platform from digital to print,” adding that the media sees Monday as “a money point in media history.” “.
Shared printing presses and distribution facilities in West Valley City will be “cheated,” according to one of the best sources, and nearly 160 other press operators, carriers and other employees will lose their jobs after months of progressive layoffs that led to the announcement. on Monday.
Pension obligations have been complied with, according to an information sheet provided by the newspapers, and the workers concerned are receiving benefit packages.
Current Tribune print subscribers who want to continue will be automatically enrolled in new weekly plans starting in January and will still have free access to all digital products. Subscription plans will be published in November.
The new print edition is expected to be sent to subscribers on the Wasatch front and in Summit County over the weekend. For subscribers in other areas, it will arrive early next week.
Print subscribers will also have unlimited access to digital offerings, along with access to a new daily newsletter that will include many of the best features of the print edition, including nightly sports scores, daily cartoons by Pat Begley, puzzles and comics. Those who have questions about their print subscription are invited to call Utah Media Group at 801-204-6100 or email email@example.com.
Daily press in downtown Salt Lake City first began for The Tribune around 1871, when it was called The Tribune & Utah Mining Gazette.
The Tribune-News Collaborative Agreement, commonly referred to as the JOA, was first signed in 1952 and then enshrined in the Newspaper Preservation Act passed by Congress in 1970. The agreement provides special exceptions to the antitrust co-operation rules. a managed company called Newspaper Agency Co., or NAC. Newspapers renewed their pact in 1982 and adjusted it when The Tribune went through a different ownership.
Printing and delivering both papers was NAC’s daily mission for nearly 70 years, first in the press behind their neighboring offices on Regent Street in downtown Salt Lake City, and then at the West Valley City plant.
At its strongest, the Tribune carried hundreds of pages a day, with abundant display advertising aimed at an expanding class of users in Utah. The editions, thick with special features, brought news, entertainment, syndicated columns and color cartoons, as well as legal announcements and classified ads.
Circulation of The Tribune rose from 10,000 in the earliest days of mostly family paper to almost 20 times higher, delivered early in the morning through a network of carriers in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana and even parts of Washington. country.
Tribune and News executives praised the failing JOA on Monday, but noted that the digital revolution has reversed its benefits.
“Deseret News has been an exceptional and constructive partner at JOA in this financially turbulent industry,” said Salt Lake Tribune Chairman and Chief Financial Agent Paul Huntsman in a statement. “As The Tribune progresses, our commitment to our readers remains the same: to provide reliable and informative news, analysis and commentary.”
Tribune’s board of directors thanked News and Utah Media Group employees and managers for “their rewarding long-term service” on both issues.
News publisher Jeff Simpson praised The Tribune in return, saying the long-standing partnership, which allows them to collaborate on advertising and subscription prices and share printing and shipping costs, “has benefited the community in many ways.”
“We love our thousands of print subscribers, along with the millions who read to us online each month,” Simpson said in a statement. “With this change, we can continue to focus on great journalism, serving our readers and growing our digital audience in Utah and beyond.”
Brent Lowe, president and CEO of Utah Media Group, which operates the facility in West Valley City, said print newspaper demand was at historically low levels, “while digital content and distribution are everywhere.”
“Our customers can print their papers cost-effectively without having their own printing presses,” said Lowe, who runs the umbrella organization that includes Newspaper Agency Co.
Tribune sold its interest in the press in 2013 as part of a renegotiation of JOA by its then owner, the New York newspaper chain MediaNews Group.
He said closing the West Valley City plant and splitting the rest of Utah Media Group’s businesses were painful decisions but necessary for The Tribune’s survival.
The money from print advertising and paid circulation from home delivery has been around for a decade, Huntsman said, but has worsened in recent years, including major declines with the coronavirus pandemic.
The wealthy businessman said the new edition of the Tribune over the weekend – with an expanded opinion section “reflecting the breadth of Utah’s voices on key issues” – is expected to bring in money, with a harvest and attractive content.
Huntsman said Monday that one thing that will not change is “The Role of the Tribune as Utah’s Journalist Leader,” adding that it is “dedicated to building stronger communities by providing vital, accurate reports on all aspects of life.” in Utah. “
“This is a historic moment in the industry, but one that reflects the reality of today’s news consumption,” he said in a statement issued as chairman of the board.
He called the changes in the press and the transition to non-profit status “pioneering efforts for financial sustainability”.
Today, Tribune’s growing audience lives online, where hundreds of thousands of people read stories through sltrib.com and mobile apps each week. Four out of five readers already receive their news content digitally, the Tribune board said, “and this trend is accelerating.”
By comparison, according to audited reports, the print run for what readers call the Trib is now about 36,000 newspapers a day. That’s less than about 61,000 in 2014 and about 200,000 hard copies in its heyday.
Still, the move is likely to affect the daily habits of thousands of hard print readers, many of whom are older.
Tribune’s declining press in the industry reflects similar Sunday + Digital movements that are taking place in inherited American newspapers against the same changes in audience taste. According to some experts, this could portend a greater collapse in the daily supply of newspapers in the United States within three to five years.
“The decline in print speed is gaining momentum,” said Rick Edmunds, a media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based investigative journalism organization. “I expect to see many more such moves in the next year or two.”
Ogden’s Standard-Examiner and Provo’s Daily Herald, both owned by Ogden Newspapers, now publish six days a week, with a weekend edition covering Saturday and Sunday. The Herald Journal in Logan announced in September 2019 that it would shorten to three days a week sent by mail.
Noyce, a temporary editor, has assured longtime fans of the press and the growing audience of Tribune readers online and via mobile devices that the move will not reduce trusted coverage, but only shift it more fully to digital platforms.
He said the newspaper’s priority in terms of security journalism and the prospect of setting the agenda would continue, with the weekly print providing a new and exclusive context, corporatism and more in-depth articles in a legacy format.
“The digital is our present and our future,” Neuss said. “Imagine the best of our company, our big packages and all the extra features we do now during the week, all cramped into one weekend edition. This is a great newspaper! “