It’s no secret that in the ever increasingly unstable newspaper market that the Deseret New has been trying to increase it’s market beyond both Utah and even the Mormon audience. It’s always been a bit odd being a metro paper in competition with the Salt Lake Tribune in a tiny market but also publishing the Church News. I remember as a kid my parents having a subscription to the Church News in way off Halifax, Nova Scotia. With the loss of classified dollars and the shift to the internet with low ad rates, all newspapers have been struggling. In a small market with two competing papers (plus the Provo Herald and Ogden Standard Examiner) it’s hard to stay in business.
As we reported last month the Salt Lake Tribune, itself reportedly in dire financial straits, was bought by the Huntsman family. Presumably to help keep competition in news and as a bit of a charity project. While the Deseret News has the backing of the Church and its media corporations (including KSL TV and radio) it too has long been under financial stress. After various strategies and leadership, a few years ago they launched a national online edition and has been now going to be writing for the Deseret News. (HT: McKay Coppins) Of course the Blaze was itself a project of Mormon Glenn Beck. So this isn’t quite as big of a jump as it might seem. Also there have been a lot of reports that the Blaze itself has been struggling financially with many people jumping ship.
I am curious as to your thoughts on this. I’ll confess I don’t regularly read the Deseret News. I tend to just read the local stories that pop up in my Twitter feed. However I do find the evolution of media in Utah as it relates to the Church fascinating. Broadening the market to include all conservative religious readers is in one way brilliant but in an other way pretty hard to pull off given continued distrust of Mormons by evangelics.