Both newspapers in Utah's capital to cease daily publication

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The capital of Utah will go from two daily printed newspapers to none after both of Salt Lake City’s major publications announced moves to weekly print schedules in the past two days.

The 170-year-old Deseret News said Tuesday it will stop publishing daily starting next year. The disclosure came a day after the Salt Lake Tribune made a similar announcement. The two publications have a joint-operating agreement that will end later this year.

Both papers will continue to publish breaking news online and offer a weekly print publication. The Deseret News will also have a monthly magazine.

The changes come as the number of print customers and revenue decline precipitously for newspapers around the country.

Deseret News Editor Doug Wilks said in an op-ed that the publication owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will continue its “national leadership role as the watchdog of the family and of faith in the public square.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall tweeted that it’s a significant change for the city.

“It’s hard to believe we’ll no longer have a daily print paper in SLC,” she wrote. “Local journalism is essential to democracy … I look forward to reading online, but I’ll miss both papers dearly.”

The Deseret News will lay off six journalists and give severance packages to 18 staffers in visual editing and sales departments. The Salt Lake Tribune is not planning layoffs in the newsroom.

About 160 people associated with the two newspapers’ joint print operations will also be laid off.

The Deseret News is named after the territory’s early title. The newspaper was born three years after pioneers arrived in 1847.

The newspaper has worked to expand its digital offerings for a decade, appealing to church members and others outside the state, and now 70% of its digital users come from outside the state, said Jeff Simpson, its president and publisher.

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