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Our Nonprofit Model

Our Mission

The Tribune is Utah’s essential voice. Building on a legacy of watchdog journalism, we strive to tell stories that are interesting and inclusive. Dedicated to fairness and accuracy, we aim to empower our community with news and information.

Our Nonprofit Model

In a historic move, the IRS approved nonprofit status for The Salt Lake Tribune in October 2019, making it the first legacy newspaper in the U.S. to transform from a for-profit news organization to a 501(c)3 nonprofit

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The Tribune continues to offer subscriptions and accept traditional advertising. The newspaper also receives donations from donors who can then receive a tax deduction. The Tribune is responsive to the community it serves - readers across Utah and beyond - and its fiscal stewardship is in the hands of a 10-person Board of Directors.

As a nonprofit, The Tribune’s editorial board –which operates independently of the news staff — no longer makes candidate endorsements. Nonprofits cannot do so under federal law.

The Tribune offers unmatched reporting on federal, state and local government, the environment, education, religion, criminal justice, sports and many rich stories about the people and places that make Utah special.

Our Impact

In 2021 our reporters published an astounding 10,510 stories, including: investigative reporting into Utah’s troubled teen industry, wasteful public spending and dedicated coverage of women’s health.

Nearly 100 million visitors came to sltrib.com, and millions more saw our journalism on social platforms and in print. Since 2019, our community has invested more than $4 million in philanthropic support to help strengthen our newsroom.

Read our 2021 Impact Report here.

The Playbook

The Salt Lake Tribune is pioneering one path forward for local news. Read our playbook here.

Here are a few answers to key questions.

I want to show my support! Where can I make a donation?

Thank you! We welcome tax-deductible donations of any amount. You can either send a check, or give online here. The address is The Salt Lake Tribune, Inc., 90 S. 400 West, Suite 600, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101. To make a donation from a charitable fund, please use the tax ID number 84-1878709.

Want to add a donation to your subscription? Great, we also have supporting subscribing options to make a small donation on top of your subscription. Note, subscriptions are not tax-deductible, but any amount given in addition to the subscription is.

I want to make a sustaining gift. What are my options?

The First Amendment Society is made up of dedicated, generous individuals who believe that the free press is vital to the health of our community, our state and our democracy. First Amendment Society members pledge to donate at least $1,000 each year for a minimum of three years.

Interested in joining? Donate here or contact The Tribune’s Development Director, Jessica Sweeney, jsweeney@sltrib.com.

Who owns The Tribune?

No single person owns a nonprofit. We report to the community we serve. We are governed by a nonprofit board of directors.

I have a question about my print/digital subscription. Who do I contact?

Please contact our customer service team: (801) 237-2900 or subscribe@sltrib.com.

Customer service hours are Mon-Fri 8:00 am-4:00 pm, closed Sat/Sun and Holidays.

Please leave a message after business hours.

How do I advertise in the newspaper and on sltrib.com?

Yes. Please contact us at advertising@sltrib.com or at (801) 237-2700.

Our History

The first edition of what is now called The Tribune hit the streets on April 15, 1871. It was called “The Tribune & Utah Mining Gazette.”

For the next 30 years, The Tribune passed through a series of salty owners who engaged the publication in raucous duels with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1901, the newspaper was acquired by U.S. Sen. Thomas Kearns and David Keith, prominent Utah mining figures.

Upon Kearns’ death in 1918, sole ownership was acquired by the Kearns family. The circulation at the time was 10,000 on weekdays and 15,000 on Sundays. In 1924, John F. Fitzpatrick became the publisher. Under his direction, the afternoon Salt Lake Telegram was merged into the morning Salt Lake Tribune in 1952. It was also under the Fitzpatrick tenure that The Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for its reporting of a 1956 air disaster over the Grand Canyon.

The Tribune and the Latter-day Saint church-owned Deseret News signed a joint operating agreement (JOA) in 1952, with U.S. Justice Department approval, to form an independent entity called the Newspaper Agency Corporation (NAC). Under this JOA agreement, the advertising,

production and delivery operations of the two newspapers were handled by the NAC, also known as Utah Media Group. Editorially, however, The Tribune and Deseret News remained independent and competitive. The JOA ended Dec. 31, 2020.

With the emergence of the internet, the entire newspaper industry faced financial instability and by 2010 The Tribune was sold again, this time to Alden Global Capital, a New York-based hedge fund, with Terry Orme becoming publisher in 2013. In 2014, Alden renegotiated the JOA with the Deseret News to The Tribune’s financial disadvantage, prompting layoffs, a lawsuit and a U.S. Department of Justice investigation.

After two years of intense negotiations, Utah businessman Paul Huntsman bought the newspaper, becoming owner and publisher in 2016. He continued to support the Tribune’s tradition of hard-hitting local news coverage, a decision that led to the newspaper’s second Pulitzer Prize in 2017.

As the financial instability of the newspaper industry continued to threaten The Tribune’s long-term success, Huntsman applied to the IRS for nonprofit status, arguing the newspaper’s mission and purpose was charitable in nature and the business should be a community asset. On Oct. 29, 2019, the IRS granted The Tribune 501(c)(3) status, making it the first legacy newspaper in the U.S. to transform from a for-profit company to a nonprofit entity.

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