The following are several clarifications regarding the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News.
A commitment to multiple, independent voices: The Deseret News is committed to the market's demand for multiple editorial voices and the amended JOA upholds that commitment. As with the prior agreement, the amended JOA includes specific measures to protect both newspapers' independence:
Both newsrooms remain entirely independent and outside of the JOA.
The Tribune pays no rent for use of the plant and presses that were purchased by the Deseret News. This is a significant financial benefit to the Tribune that comes in addition to their ownership percentage.
The new agreement affords more protections for both partners than in previous versions of the JOA, including, for example, decisions on frequency and promotion.
Tribune ownership initiated discussions: Revisions to the JOA were the result of conversations initiated by Tribune ownership, not the Deseret News. The choice of how to use the proceeds from the transaction is an internal matter for the ownership and management of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Both parties acted in good faith: The JOA was revised six months ago, at which time the Department of Justice was originally notified by both The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News. Both organizations provided additional information at that time, and the Deseret News will continue to do so as requested.
Investment in digital: The future of news media is moving to digital formats, where consumer choices continue to expand. This digital growth creates both opportunities and challenges tied to an increasing number of competitive voices. It is the responsibility of news organizations to innovate and adapt to the evolving media landscape.