The Salt Lake Tribune will stop printing a daily edition and will move to a weekly publication schedule at the end of the year, its leadership said Monday, ending a nearly 150-year run of a daily newspaper delivery to Utahns.
The Tribune’s board of directors announced the change on Monday, after leaders at The Tribune and The Deseret News, another Salt Lake City media outlet, said they were ending a 68-year-old partnership that allowed the two publications to collaborate on printing, delivery and advertising, according to The Tribune.
The economic decline caused by the coronavirus pandemic has pummeled a local newspaper industry already struggling with declining revenues, layoffs and pay reductions in newsrooms across the country.
David Noyce, the interim editor of The Tribune, told readers in an email that the paper was making the change to position itself financially for the future and that the change would not result in any reduction to its newsroom staff.
“We know a lot of readers (and Tribune journalists) love the feel of newsprint in their hands each morning,” Mr. Noyce said. “Unfortunately, that’s not financially sustainable any longer.”
Over the last decade, newspapers around the country, big and small, have had to change their business models and structures to stay profitable — or simply survive — as revenues from advertisers have collapsed. In 2019, Paul Huntsman, owner of The Tribune, sought federal approval to turn the newsroom into a nonprofit operation, which he said would give it the best chance of survival.
Later that year, it became the first metropolitan daily to become a nonprofit organization. It takes in revenue from ads, reader subscriptions and philanthropic donations.
The website will relaunch in the coming days, the newspaper said, and some journalists in the 65-person newsroom would be redeployed to unspecified roles.
The Deseret News on Monday told staff at a meeting that 18 employees, most of whom were in the newspaper’s visual editing and sales departments, were being laid off, according to the newspaper.
The Salt Lake Tribune said its weekly edition would showcase the newspaper’s best enterprise work and in-depth stories. It would also carry stories from The New York Times, The Associated Press and other news outlets.