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Note to readers: Today we make a historic transition

As The Tribune moves to a weekly print paper, it also for the first time stands alone as a nonprofit organization

Pat Bagley

We’re eager to share the first weekend edition of The Salt Lake Tribune with you.

This date has been circled on our calendars for many months.

As we look forward to a new year that we hope brings health and prosperity to our commnities, The Tribune also is celebrating a transition.

We broke new ground in 2020 when we officially became a nonprofit news organization. As a 501(c)(3), we are now community supported and community owned.

And yet today and for the first time in decades, we stand alone as a news organization. Our joint operating agreement with the Deseret News dissolved Dec. 31. Our agreement meant The Tribune could not sell its own print ads or subscriptions and received a portion of the revenue from these efforts, which were managed externally.

Over the past two months, we have launched an advertising team, a circulation operation, a new weekend edition, a new e-edition (or rendering of the printed paper available online), a new website and a new app for your phone. Your service issues are now ours, and we will be as responsive as you expect us to be. We have welcomed an executive editor and a chief revenue officer.

We will celebrate 150 years in April. That’s right, The Tribune is 25 years older than the state of Utah. And today it feels like we’re launching a startup.

You have made this transition possible. Your support — via a subscription or a donation, by reading online at sltrib.com or by picking up this paper today at a store — is the reason we are here at the end of a long road and eagerly approaching the turn onto a new path.

With the dissolution of the JOA and the launch of the weekend print edition, all revenues go back into the organization. We can invest in more and better local news for the benefit of Utahns across the state. Every dollar invested - in a subscription, via a donation or in advertising - is deposited back into our communities through more local news and information.

We have to deliver for you week in and week out. Each Sunday. And every day of the week online.

In 2021, we will publish accountability journalism you can’t find anywhere else, such as our recent reporting on the impact of remote learning on students’ grades and mental health. We will also share high-utility reporting, such as stories that will help you support local businesses during the pandemic. It’s breaking news, with context.

Here’s a closer look at the new sections in today’s weekend edition.

Utah: The first section of the paper will include a look at the week ahead in state politics, education and key events; expanded faith reporting; in-depth accountability journalism; and more coverage of how our state grows.

Opinion: A greater diversity of perspectives in opinion pieces written by community members; news-breaking editorials; columns from Robert Gehrke and Robert Kirby and Pat Bagley’s cartoons; and a more diverse Editorial Board steering the larger Sunday section.

Sports: More analysis from beat reporters on the Jazz, the University of Utah and BYU; trend stories on our Olympic sports beat and from our RSL reporter; rankings and recruiting news; Gordon Monson columns.

The Week: A section devoted to national and international reporting that puts key issues and events into context.

Mix: Arts and culture stories that elevate voices from Utah’s growing multicultural communities.

It’s hard to imagine what a local news organization will look like in the future, given how rapidly consumption habits are changing. We do know the market for local journalism, if left alone, will continue to undersupply local coverage. This is a serious public problem, according to a recent Brookings report. As readers, you must be able to rely on us to meet the demands of living in a democracy.

If we’re doing our jobs well, we must be nimble. Today’s readers may be tomorrow’s YouTube news consumers. We must listen more deeply and move to where readers want us to be, topically or by platform.

With your support, we plan to add more reporters, which will result in more local news coverage.

We’ll experiment on new platforms.

We’ll launch new collaborations.

We are a 150-year-old startup. With your help, we can provide even greater and lasting benefit to our communities. Please make a tax-deductible contribution at sltrib.com/support.

We hope you enjoy your weekend reading. And thank you for joining us on this journey.

— The team at The Salt Lake Tribune

If you have questions about your subscription or your login, please call 801- 237-2900 or email subscribe@sltrib.com.

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