Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Under New Management

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Under New Management

Article excerpt

'The Salt Lake Tribune' tussle vividly illustrates the pitfalls of JOA law -- and the value of an involved readership

The Newspaper Agency Corp. (NAC) that runs business operations for The Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News won't say how many readers have cancelled Tribune subscriptions since Aug. 1, when William Dean Singleton finally took management control of the Salt Lake City paper he's owned for almost two years.

Whatever the number, Singleton should take heart in the cancellations. They reflect the most precious asset he acquired when he plunked down $200 million for the 142,567-daily- circulation Tribune: a readership with deep proprietary feelings about its local newspaper. If every paper could boast that kind of reader, the industry would not be in such a tremulous state.

Tribune readers in the months ahead will be an especially attentive audience because they have been primed to expect the worst from Singleton. As the McCarthey family's management agreement dwindled down to its last days, the Tribune published unsealed court documents to bolster their long-standing accusation that Singleton is a Trojan horse for the Mormon Church, which owns the rival News.

We're inclined to believe Singleton and News managers when they vigorously deny any secret deal to go easy on the church -- if only because the one action the MediaNews Group Inc. vice chairman and CEO has taken so far contradicts the alleged bargain. The unsealed memo says Singleton agreed to appoint an NAC president who has "no connections nor loyalties to either paper over the other. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.