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Salt Lake Tribune owner Paul Huntsman explains why he wants to turn the newspaper into a nonprofit

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Paul Huntsman, owner and publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune has applied with the IRS to switch the newspaper to a nonprofit company, relying on donations large and small. Huntsman met with the staff of The Tribune Tuesday, May 7, 2019 to announce the move and field questions.

Dear readers,

For nearly 150 years, The Salt Lake Tribune has served our state as Utah’s independent voice.

It has recorded our history, held the powerful accountable, and given Utahns the information they need to chart their future. We are proud of our legacy of courageous, watchdog journalism, and we are committed to telling stories that are interesting, important and inclusive for at least another 150 years.

As a reader, you are well aware that the business of journalism is changing, and that The Tribune itself has changed. Roughly 1,800 communities across the U.S. have already lost their local newspapers, tearing a hole in their civic and democratic fabric. We are taking proactive, innovative and swift action to pioneer a new model so that this does not happen in Utah.

We are in the beginning stages of transitioning The Salt Lake Tribune to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We will be the first legacy newspaper in the United States to take this bold move. To be clear, there are no immediate changes to our current business model or to subscriptions while we await approval from the IRS.

I have always seen The Salt Lake Tribune as Utah’s institution, much like our libraries, hospitals and the arts and cultural organizations that enrich our lives and reflect our shared civic goals. I will continue to serve as publisher, and Jennifer Napier-Pearce will continue in her role as editor.

These are challenging times for our nation, our state and journalism. Utahns have relied on The Tribune to make sense of the world around us, to create a common conversation that crosses geography and party lines, and to participate effectively in a democratic society. By transitioning to a nonprofit business model we are ensuring that Utahns will continue to have the impactful, empowering journalism they need in perpetuity.

We look forward to sharing our progress and pledge to continue The Tribune’s legacy of courageous journalism, and will rely on you, the public, to support the institution of a fair and free press.

Thank you for your support of The Salt Lake Tribune.

Paul C. Huntsman, owner and publisher

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