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Articles from The Salt Lake Tribune

State Sen. Jim Dabakis launches drive to ‘Save The Tribune’
Media » Former editor warns new deal could kill Utah’s largest daily.
By Tony Semerad | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Apr 28 2014 03:36 pm

Salt Lake Tribune: Feds scrutinize newspaper deal

Tangled business deals left Salt Lake readers in the lurch

Giving the LDS Church-owned Deseret News “veto power” over the Tribune’s ownership violates antitrust law

Tribune didn't allow demeaning of LDS Church

Paper Chase
Salt Lake Tribune, June 9, 2002
How The Tribune slipped away from a family and why the D-News took advantage; The Tribune Faces Uncertainty; Option Ruled Valid; So Now What?

Articles from Other Sources

KUER's RadioWest: "A Tale of Two Papers"
Salt Lake Tribune editor Terry Orme and Utah Newspaper Project's Joan O'Brien joined Doug Fabrizio on RadioWest Monday to  discuss the amended "Joint  Operating Agreement" between the New York owner of The Tribune and the LDS Church-owned Deseret News. After six months of silence, the Deseret News issued a statement to KUER regarding our allegations.  Read the Statement.

The Columbia Journalism Review Wades Into the Controversy Over the New JOA
"The fierce struggle over the deal has deep roots in the history of the two newspapers..."

Additional Information

Frontline Newswar Part 3 – What's Happening to the News
Part 3 of the amazing PBS Newshour series “Newswar” provides background for those interested in the existential challenges facing newspapers around the nation, not just in Salt Lake City. As the series makes clear, newspapers often provide the foundational reporting that informs a broad spectrum of discourse in our society. Former Los Angeles Times editor John Carroll estimates "that 85 percent of the original reporting that's done in the United States is done by newspapers. They're the people who are going out and knocking on doors and rummaging through records and covering events and so on. And most of the other media that provide news to people are really recycling news that's gathered by newspapers."

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) has released The Next Antitrust Agenda: The American Antitrust Institute’s Transition Report on Competition Policy to the 44th President of the United States
“Traditional media are in flux,” legal minds at the American Antitrust Institute argue in their latest book. “The daily newspaper has been called an ‘endangered species.’” The turmoil in the industry has complicated antitrust enforcement, especially now that anyone with an Internet connection can become a publisher. Still, “an emerging and increasingly more competitive new media market does not warrant ignoring antitrust enforcement in major media formats.”

Dynamic Competition in the Newspaper Industry
In a speech before the Newspaper Association of America, Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division argues that antitrust law is intended to "ensure that parties do not use illegal means to disrupt the competitive process as it works itself out" in the new media landscape.

Not All Agreements Purporting To Amend A Grandfathered JOA Are Lawful Under The Antitrust Laws
In late 1999, the U.S. Justice Department filed an amicus brief in a Hawaii case that supports many of the arguments presented by the Utah Newspaper Project. “Not All Agreements Purporting To Amend A Grandfathered JOA Are Lawful Under The Antitrust Laws,” is the header on one section of the brief. “Congress obviously did not mean to include within the scope of the statutory immunity [provided under the Newspaper Preservation Act] any agreement that effectuates any change in a JOA...The [Newspaper Preservation Act] is not a shield for whatever agreement the parties style as an amendment to a JOA.”
From: STATE OF HAWAII, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. GANNETT PACIFIC CORP., et al., Defendants-Appellants.

A New Age for Newspapers: Diversity of Voices, Competition and the Internet. Presented April 21, 2009 (PDF)
Many other public utterances by Department of Justice officials suggest comity with the position of Utah Newspaper Project: “Newspapers play a vital role in our society,” Carl Shapiro, deputy assistant attorney general for economics in the Antitrust Division, testified before Congress in 2009. “The Antitrust Division continues to work to protect competition in the newspaper industry. We believe that antitrust analysis is forward –looking and flexible enough to take into consideration the economic and technological pressures facing newspapers as we continue to make market-by-market and case-by-case factual determinations pursuant to the antitrust laws.”

So just how did The Salt Lake Tribune get itself into this predicament? Much has happened in the 14 years since the historic owners of the newspaper, the McCarthey family, filed litigation over transfer of the paper they had called “the Gift.” But coverage of the federal court case at the time provides an understanding of the dynamics that brought us to this place. Read “Paper Chase: How the Tribune slipped away from a family and why the D-News took advantage.” The piece is not available online, but is available at this link. It can also be requested from The Salt Lake Tribune’s archives.

Above The Fold: AT&T's Plan To Sell Newspaper Adds Fuel To A Salt Lake Feud
The Wall ‘Street Journal and the New York Times also covered the intrigue behind that court case. In the Journal on Oct. 6, 2000, Peter Waldman wrote, “In Salt Lake City, it's known as the "Great Accommodation": a delicate, decades-old joint operating agreement between a morning newspaper that's often critical of the local Mormon establishment and an afternoon newspaper owned by the Mormon church….”

“Complicated Maneuvering on Utah Paper”,
In October 2000, New York Times reporters Andrew Ross Sorkin and Felicity Barringer also explored the high –stakes maneuvering that prevented the return of the Tribune to its historic owners, the McCarthey family. “For decades The Salt Lake City Tribune has been the largest newspaper in Utah without a connection to the Mormon church. Now the news of talks between a Mormon-owned newspaper company and The Tribune's corporate parent have raised fears inside The Tribune that its independent voice could be eroded. The dispute involves an unusual cast of characters, including AT&T -- which owns The Tribune through one of its subsidiaries -- as well as Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who became tangentially involved when executives of the church-owned newspaper sought advice from Mr. Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on the antitrust implications of their plans.”

Spirited Rivalries Fueled Salt Lake's Newspaper Wars
Will Bagley offers another historical perspective in his 2000 Salt Lake Tribune column. In “Spirited Rivalries Fueled Salt Lake's Newspaper Wars,” he wrote, “Maneuvers by the LDS Church to acquire the company that prints and distributes The Salt Lake Tribune have drawn national attention to journalism in Utah…Analysts wondered if such scheming would herald an end to independent journalism and the demise of the long peace between The Tribune and the Deseret News in which The Trib reported the news and the News reported the gospel.”

Link Broken - Fix -
Fast-forward exactly 13 years to last October, when an anonymous tipster alerted The Tribune’s reporters to the The Tribune alarming changes to the Joint Operating Agreement between The Tribune and the Deseret News. The terms of the new JOA raise the possibility the Deseret News has generally been able to accomplish in 2013 what it could not in 2000.

Link Broken - Fix -
Within a few days of that story, the Utah Newspaper Project wrote a letter to the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division seeking an investigation into the deal.

Deseret News, S.L. Tribune revise joint operating agreement
A story about the new deal between the New York-based owner of The Tribune and the Deseret News also appeared in the News.

Maher’s New Rule: Hearing Stories That Confirm Your Beliefs Isn’t News; ‘It’s Fox News!’
Bill Maher railes against “microtargeting” and sites like Facebook that are making it easier than ever for people to only consume the news that confirms their own biases or beliefs and he takes on the Internet for allowing us to avoid reading anything that just isn’t in our interests.