Ending months of speculation, Jon Huntsman Sr. acknowledged today that he is interested in buying the Salt Lake Tribune.
The Salt Lake Tribune has been struggling financially since its joint operating agreement with the Deseret News was renegotiated by the paper’s parent company Digital First Media. The new JOA left the Tribune with only half the revenue it previously earned from its print subscription and advertising sales. In recent months, rumors have surfaced that Jon Huntsman Sr. might be interested in buying the paper. Speaking after a groundbreaking ceremony for children’s cancer research facility, Mr. Huntsman put the rumors to rest.
“I’ve expressed an interest in the Tribune. Right now the Department of Justice has put a clamp on anyone negotiating for it. They have several lawyers in examining the joint operating agreement between the Deseret News and the Tribune. And so they’ve nullified any negotiations for the next six weeks or so,” said Jon Huntsman Sr.
The U-S Justice department is investigating whether the new joint operating agreement violates the Newspaper Preservation Act. Meanwhile several groups, including the Utah Newspaper Project and Save the Tribune are working on plans to salvage the financially ailing newspaper.