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SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake Tribune is seeking federal approval to become a nonprofit operation.
UtahPolicy.com first reported the Tribune's intentions, which were confirmed by the paper Tuesday evening.
The newspaper reported that its owner, Paul Huntsman, has lawyers working with the IRS to change the privately owned Tribune into a company funded by donations.
The plan is twofold, the paper says: First, to create a charity foundation to support independent journalism, with the Tribune as a major benefactor; and second, to obtain nonprofit status for the paper and transfer ownership from Huntsman to a public board.
The Tribune has struggled for years to generate revenue. Last year, 38 percent of the organization’s staff was laid off, with Huntsman citing "impending changes and financial difficulties" as a cause.
Around the same time, the paper instituted a paywall for readers to access its online content.
Tribune editor Jennifer Napier Pierce said Tuesday the move to nonprofit is vital to the community.
“We have to survive,” she said in the Tribune story. “Our community would be so much worse off without this publication, let alone independent journalism.”