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Salt Lake Tribune facing tough times following Deseret News deal

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - The Salt Lake Tribune is facing some tough times. Some believe it might close its doors. They claim it's all due to a back door deal made by the Deseret News.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - The Salt Lake Tribune is facing some tough times. Some believe it might close its doors. They claim it's all due to a back door deal made by the Deseret News.

Concerning questions are coming out about the future of The Salt Lake Tribune.

"Whenever you have to lay off excellent journalists and there have been fine journalists at this paper, that hurts," said Terry Orme, Editor & Publisher, The Salt Lake Tribune.

Editor and Publisher Terry Orme said a recent deal by with the Deseret News and the Tribune's parent company in New York has killed half the Tribune's revenue. Since the 1950's both papers have shared profits from advertising, but last fall the Des News and the Tribune's owner Digital First Media, renegotiated which paper gets how much.

"Traditionally the profit split has been 58% for The Salt Lake Tribune, which has been the bigger circulating paper, and 42% for the Des News," said Orme.

However in the new deal, Des News now receives 70% and the Tribune only gets 30%. It's forced the paper to make some tough decisions. They've fired 35 people, and cut 2-4 pages out of the Tribune's weekly circulation.

"We've tried to be strategic in our cuts so that the effect to the reader is minimal," said Orme.

"In effect the Des News stabbed The Salt Lake Tribune to death," said Jim Dabakis, (D) District 2.

State Senator Jim Dabakis believes the Des News deal is more damaging than the Tribune is saying. He's behind the website savethetribune.com. He's asking people to sign a petition he'll present to the U.S. Department of Justice which needs to sign off on the deal, and avoid what Dabakis considers killing the Salt Lake Tribune.

"When that's gone and that one point of view is all that's left, it's going to be very very bad for Utah," said Dabakis.

When Reporter Brian Carlson called the Deseret News for comment they did not immediately return his calls. As for Orme, he’s holding out hope the Tribune can survive.

"You almost have to be optimistic if you're going to be in this business that there will be a Tribune," said Orme.

If you want to learn more about the petition to save the Tribune, click on this link – Save The Tribune.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv

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