Paul Huntsman, publisher of Salt Lake Tribune, the nation’s first daily newspaper to be granted nonprofit status, says executives are curious as to if the Tribune’s approach can work elsewhere, according to reports.
“I’m surprised, quite frankly, that I’m the first one doing this,” Huntsman said. “I’m not a journalist. I saw how broken the model really was. I was wondering, why isn’t there anybody doing something about this, instead of waiting for someone to come in and rescue us?”
Huntsman bought the Tribune in 2016 with the aim of keeping the newspaper operational.
“This was strictly about trying to figure out a pathway to sustainability, rather than figuring out a rate of return,” he said.
With the nonprofit status, the Tribune’s ownership is to be transferred to a public board of directors. However, the newspaper will still continue to sell advertising and charge for a subscription and individual copies.
Huntsman added that he is happy to share his experience with other publishers in the hope that the Tribune’s idea could spread and be useful. “We need good journalism,” he said. “We have to continue to support it in our state and hope others will see it the same way.”