The Salt Lake Tribune sold to wealthy industrialist family

Rick Bowmer
The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News newspaper boxes await customers in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune was purchased by Paul Huntsman. (Associated Press)

A son of wealthy industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr. has agreed to buy The Salt Lake Tribune, ending uncertainty about the future of Utah’s largest independent newspaper.

Digital First Media announced in a news release Wednesday that the company reached an agreement to sell the newspaper to Paul Huntsman. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The Huntsman purchase fits an emerging ownership trend in the newspaper industry of wealthy businesspeople buying publications because they value their civic importance.

Major changes to a longstanding joint operating agreement with another Salt Lake City-based newspaper, the Deseret News, in 2013 cut the Tribune’s profits nearly in half.

That triggered a lawsuit by a group of former staffers who allege the terms violated antitrust laws and would lead to the Tribune’s slow death.

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