When local philanthropist Paul Huntsman took over The Salt Lake Tribune in 2016, progressive community members were rooting for a revival of this counterpoint to its conservative competitor, the Deseret News.
Just two years later, the future looked bleak as Huntsman laid off one-third of the newsroom staff, under pressure from declining ad revenues. In 2019, he announced a plan to convert the newspaper into a nonprofit, charting a path that has caught the attention of other distressed news organizations.
Although getting relief from the demand to make a profit hasn’t resolved all its issues, the 150-year-old newspaper is in better shape today. In an editorial published last November, the Tribune proudly declared itself “sustainable” in its current form as a tax-exempt, donor-supported, 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to public-service journalism.
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