Jon Huntsman Senior discusses his interest in purchasing Salt Lake Tribune

Posted at 8:37 PM, Jun 08, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY – While attending a groundbreaking at a major addition to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Jon Huntsman Senior spoke about the possibility of him purchasing the Salt Lake Tribune.

Huntsman said at Friday’s event: “I’ve expressed an interest in the Tribune. Right now the Department of Justice has put a clamp on anybody negotiating for it.”

Federal prosecutors are looking at the joint operating agreement between the Desert News and the Salt Lake Tribune. The two papers share publishing operations, and a recent deal gave most of that publishing revenue to the Deseret News. The Tribune was already suffering from a loss of advertising revenue and circulation.

Huntsman said Friday he believes Salt Lake City should always have at least two newspapers.

“We should never have any political or religious organization filter our news, and [not having] the Salt Lake Tribune or an alternative to a church-owned or political-owned or any other special interest-owned newspaper is not in the best interest of the people of Utah,” he said. “That’s my personal feelings even though I’m a strong member of the LDS Church.”

Huntsman said he has always been fascinated with newspapers, and he said he attempted to buy the Deseret News a few years ago.

Related story: Rally held to support the Salt Lake Tribune’s future