The Salt Lake Tribune

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The Salt Lake Tribune
The Salt Lake Tribune front page.jpg
The July 27, 2005, front page of
The Salt Lake Tribune
TypeDaily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s)Huntsman Family Investments, LLC
PresidentPaul Huntsman
Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce
Founded1870 (as the Mormon Tribune)
Headquarters90 South 400 West
Suite 700
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101
Circulation 74,043
84,137 Sunday
(2015 paid distribution) [1]
ISSN 0746-3502

The Salt Lake Tribune is a daily newspaper published in the city of Salt Lake City, Utah, with the largest paid circulation in the state. The Tribune, often referred to as just "the Trib," is owned by Paul Huntsman and printed through a joint operating agreement with the Deseret News through the Newspaper Agency Corporation. For almost 100 years it was a family-owned newspaper held by the heirs of U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns. After Kearns died in 1918 the company was controlled by his widow, Jennie Judge Kearns, and then the newspaper's longtime publisher was John F. Fitzpatrick, who started his career as secretary to Senator Kearns in 1913 and remained publisher until his death in 1960. John W. Gallivan, nephew to Mrs. Kearns, joined The Tribune in 1937 and succeeded Fitzpatrick as publisher in 1960 where he remained as Chairman until the merger with TCI, Inc. in 1997.

<i>Deseret News</i> daily broadsheet newspaper published in Salt Lake City

The Deseret News is a newspaper published in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. It is Utah's oldest continuously published daily newspaper and has the largest Sunday circulation in the state and the second largest daily circulation behind The Salt Lake Tribune. The News is owned by Deseret News Publishing Company, a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation, a holding company owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The paper's name is derived from the word for "honeybee" in the Book of Mormon.

The Newspaper Agency Corporation Inc. is a printing, delivery and advertising company jointly owned by the Deseret Morning News and The Salt Lake Tribune, the two major daily newspapers in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Thomas Kearns United State Senator from Utah

Thomas Kearns was an American mining, banking, railroad and newspaper magnate. He was a United States Senator from Utah from 1901 to 1905.


On April 20, 2016, Huntsman Family Investments, a private equity firm headed by Paul Huntsman, announced that they would be buying the Tribune. [2]

Private equity firm investment manager that makes investments in the private equity of operating companies

A private equity firm is an investment management company that provides financial backing and makes investments in the private equity of startup or operating companies through a variety of loosely affiliated investment strategies including leveraged buyout, venture capital, and growth capital. Often described as a financial sponsor, each firm will raise funds that will be invested in accordance with one or more specific investment strategies.

The newspaper's motto, at the top of its masthead, is "Utah's Independent Voice Since 1871."


A successor to Utah Magazine (1868), [3] [4] as the Mormon Tribune by a group of businessmen led by former members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) William Godbe, Elias L.T. Harrison and Edward W. Tullidge, who disagreed with the church's economic and political positions. After a year, the publishers changed the name to the Salt Lake Daily Tribune and Utah Mining Gazette, but soon after that, they shortened it to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nontrinitarian Christian restorationist church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members and 65,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.

In 1873 three Kansas businessmen, Frederic Lockley, George F. Prescott and A.M. Hamilton, purchased the company and turned it into an anti-Mormon newspaper which consistently backed the local Liberal Party. Sometimes vitriolic, the Tribune held particular antipathy for LDS Church president Brigham Young. In the edition announcing Young's death, the Tribune wrote,

Kansas State of the United States of America

Kansas is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States. Its capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, with its most populated county being Johnson County. Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north; Missouri on the east; Oklahoma on the south; and Colorado on the west. Kansas is named after the Kansas River, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native Americans who lived along its banks. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the (south) wind" although this was probably not the term's original meaning. For thousands of years, what is now Kansas was home to numerous and diverse Native American tribes. Tribes in the eastern part of the state generally lived in villages along the river valleys. Tribes in the western part of the state were semi-nomadic and hunted large herds of bison.

Anti-Mormonism intense dislike or fear of Morminism, hostility or prejudice towards Mormons

Anti-Mormonism is discrimination, persecution, hostility or prejudice directed against the Latter Day Saint movement, particularly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The term is often used to describe persons or literature that are critical of their adherents, institutions, or beliefs, or physical attacks against specific Saints or the Latter Day Saint movement as a whole.

Liberal Party (Utah) former political party in Utah

The Liberal Party was a political party established in the latter half of the 1800s in Utah Territory before the national Democrats and Republicans established themselves in Utah in the early 1890s.

He was illiterate and he has made frequent boast that he never saw the inside of a school house. His habit of mind was singularly illogical and his public addresses the greatest farrago of nonsense that ever was put in print. He prided himself on being a great financer, and yet all of his commercial speculations have been conspicuous failures. He was hierophant, and pretended to be in daily [communion] with the Almighty, and yet he was groveling in his ideas, and the system of religion he formulated was well nigh Satanic. The Salt Lake Tribune, August 30, 1877 [5]

In 1901 newly elected United States Senator Thomas Kearns, a Roman Catholic, and his business partner, David Keith, secretly bought the Tribune. Kearns made strides to eliminate the paper's anti-Mormon overtones, and succeeded in maintaining good relationships with the mostly-LDS state legislature which had elected him to the Senate. After Keith died in 1918 the Kearns family bought out Keith's share of the Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Company. Eventually, the parent company became Kearns-Tribune Corporation.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

In 1902 the company started up an evening edition, known as The Salt Lake Telegram. The Telegram was sold in 1914 and reacquired by the Tribune in 1930. It was phased out when the joint operating agreement was formed with the afternoon Deseret News , Salt Lake's daily newspaper owned by the LDS Church, in 1952. [6]

Marquee of The Salt Lake Tribune on the Tribune Building in Downtown Salt Lake City Salt Lake Tribune marquis.jpg
Marquee of The Salt Lake Tribune on the Tribune Building in Downtown Salt Lake City

John F. Fitzpatrick became publisher in 1924, ushering in what became seven decades of peaceful coexistence with the dominant LDS Church. In 1952 theTribune entered into a joint operating agreement with the Deseret News and created the Newspaper Agency Corporation. [7] Fitzpatrick was the architect of NAC at the request of Mormon Church President David O. McKay whose newspaper was near bankruptcy at the time. In 1960 Fitzpatrick died of a heart attack and was succeeded by John W. Gallivan who had been trained as the next publisher since he joined The Tribune in 1937. Gallivan often joked with aspiring journalism students telling them the best way to the publisher's desk was to get yourself left on the doorstep of the owner. (Gallivan was orphaned at age 5, then taken in by his mother's half-sister, Mrs.Thomas Kearns.) In the late 1950s, in spite of reluctance from John Fitzpatrick about the future of television, Gallivan joined a measured Tribune investment with The Standard Corporation in Ogden to build one of the first microwave and cable TV systems across northern Nevada. Gallivan traveled weekends by bus to Elko, NV to oversee the construction beginnings. Gallivan and Denver cable investor Bob Magness merged their companies into Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) which eventually became the largest cable television company in the world. The Tribune's ownership interest in TCI reached nearly 15% which played a large role in later mergers between the two companies. Gallivan remained in The Tribune publisher position until 1984 and chairman of the board until 1997. [8]

The Kearns family owned a majority share of the newspaper until 1997 when merged with Tele-Communications Inc. in an effort to minimize inheritance tax liabilities borne by the two largest shareholders in the Kearns family. A buy-back agreement was put in place providing for the Kearns family to reacquire The Tribune after an IRS required 5-year holding period. In the interim however, TCI was merged with AT&T Corporation. After intense pressure from the LDS Church, and intense counter-suits from the Kearns family,TheTribune was subsequently sold by AT&T to Denver, Colorado-based MediaNews Group in 2000. [9] s

In 2002 the Tribune was mired in controversy after employees sold information related to the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case to The National Enquirer.Tribune editor James "Jay" Shelledy resigned from his job at the paper amidst the fallout of the scandal. Two staffers also were removed from their positions as Tribune reporters.

In 2004 the paper decided to move from its historic location at the downtown Tribune building, to The Gateway development. Many people, including several Tribune employees, opposed the move, stating that it would harm the economy of Salt Lake's downtown. The move was completed in May 2005 and Tribune employees were told by Editor Nancy Conway, "It is just a building."[ citation needed ]

After emerging from bankruptcy in 2010, MediaNews Group lost control of its ownership to a hedge fund, Alden Global Capital. "The remainder of the Denver-based chain is owned by a consortium of lenders and by Singleton himself." [10] In 2016, Huntsman Family Investments, LLC, a company controlled by Paul Huntsman, bought The Salt Lake Tribune. [11] Paul Huntsman is the son of industrialist Jon Huntsman, Sr. who serves as chairman of the holding company, and brother of former Utah governor and ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, Jr..

In 2012, as it had in 2008, [12] The Salt Lake Tribune endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency, despite opponent Mitt Romney's connections with both Mormonism and Salt Lake City, having had a hand in organizing their 2002 Olympic Games. [13]

In 2017, Tribune was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for "a string of vivid reports revealing the perverse, punitive and cruel treatment given to sexual assault victims at Brigham Young University, one of Utah’s most powerful institutions." [14] The team included lead reporter Erin Alberty, managing editor Sheila R. McCann, reporters Jessica Miller and Alex Stuckey and editor/writer Rachel Piper. The package of winning stories also included an investigation into multiple reports that were not properly investigated by Utah State University. [15]

In a December 2017 editorial, the Tribune called for Utah Senator Orrin Hatch to retire in 2018. [16]

In May 2018, the Tribune laid off over one third of its staff of 90, bringing the number to 56. The reason put forward for this is lower revenue due to decreased circulation and lower profit from online advertisements. This is despite the paywall placed on the Tribune website months before. [17]

See also

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  1. "US Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation (form 3526)". The Salt Lake Tribune. Salt Lake City. October 6, 2015. p. A6.
  2. Semerad, Tony (April 20, 2016). "Huntsman family buying The Salt Lake Tribune, hopes to ensure 'independent voice for future generations'". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  3. Leaders of the LDS Church had urged its members to eschew the Utah Magazine; its owners formed the Mormon Tribune in 1870 in retaliation.
  4. Bennion, Sherilyn Cox (1994), "Salt Lake Tribune", in Powell, Allan Kent (ed.), Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN   0874804256, OCLC   30473917, archived from the original on 2013-11-01
  5. "Brigham Young As A Ruler". The Salt Lake Daily Tribune. August 30, 1877. p. 2. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  6. Malmquist,The First 100 Years, pp. 323–324.
  7. Malmquist, The First 100 Years, p.?
  8. Malmquist,The First 100 Years, pp. 373–376.
  9. Barringer, Felicity (16 Dec 2000). "MediaNews Allowed to Buy Utah Paper from AT&T". The New York Times . Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  10. Beebe, Paul (January 29, 2011). The Salt Lake Tribune.
  11. Semerad, Tony (April 21, 2016). "Huntsman family buying The Salt Lake Tribune, hopes to ensure 'independent voice for future generations'". The Salt Lake Tribune.
  12. Mooney, Brian C. (October 19, 2012). "Salt Lake Tribune endorses President Obama over Mitt Romney, who organized city's Olympics". The Boston Globe . Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  13. "Tribune endorsement: Too Many Mitts". The Salt Lake Tribune. November 5, 2012. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
  14. "Salt Lake Tribune wins Pulitzer for campus rape coverage, praises victims for sharing their stories". Salt Lake Tribune. April 17, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2018. Tribune wins Pulitzer
  15. "The Salt Lake Tribune Staff - The Pulitzer Prizes". April 17, 2017. Local reporting - The Pulitzer Prizes
  16. "Tribune Editorial: Why Orrin Hatch is Utahn of the Year". Salt Lake Tribune. December 25, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017. It would be good for Utah if Hatch, having finally caught the Great White Whale of tax reform, were to call it a career. If he doesn’t, the voters should end it for him.
  17. "The Salt Lake Tribune Lays Off One-Third of Newsroom Staff". The New York Times. 2018-05-14. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-05-17.


Further reading