MediaNews Group to take over Salt Lake Tribune

AP, July 31, 2002 Link
Copyright © 2002 AP Online

By PAUL FOY, AP Business Writer

SALT LAKE CITY (July 31, 2002 6:46 a.m. EDT) – After months of legal wrangling, The Salt Lake Tribune, formed by Mormon dissidents more than a century ago, will soon be in the hands of a company that appears hand-picked by its church-owned rival.

The Tribune, Utah’s largest newspaper, was to be taken over Thursday by Denver-based MediaNews Group Inc., which bought the paper 19 months ago but has been unable to take control because of a complex contract with its longtime executives. MediaNews Group owns The Denver Post and 48 other daily papers.

On Tuesday, an appeals court rejected a request from the newspaper’s former owners to keep control of the publication.

The prospect of the Tribune being taken away from the Kearns-McCarthey family, which has owned it for more than a century, has sent a shudder through Salt Lake City, the headquarters of the Mormon church. The paper has long been considered a counterweight to the church’s influence.

The Deseret News, the Tribune’s church-owned afternoon rival, shares a printing plant, advertising and distribution. That joint operating agreement appears to have given the News the chance to pick its partner. The McCartheys are trying to repurchase the paper; the News is blocking them.

“In Utah there’s this saliva test: Are you a Tribune reader or a Deseret News reader?” said Brigham Young University journalism professor Alf Pratte.

It’s part of a larger debate over the influence wielded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he said. “If it’s not the newspapers, it will be the issue of drinking or abortion,” he said.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday August 1, 2002.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at