Utah newspaper cutting staff in half

Associated Press / September 1, 2010

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Deseret News, Utah’s longest-publishing daily newspaper, said yesterday it will cut nearly half of its staff and consolidate breaking news operations with affiliated television and radio operations.

The newspaper, which announced the cutbacks in a statement to the Associated Press, said 85 full- and part-time newsroom positions are being eliminated, although some staffers will stay on for a transition period. Deseret News chief executive and president Clark Gilbert was disclosing the changes in a staff meeting.

Gilbert says the Deseret News, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is combining operations with church-owned KSL-TV and KSL Radio and will move to the broadcast networks’ building about five blocks away.

The newspaper will continue to publish seven days a week with contributions from readers, community figures, and TV and radio reporters, Gilbert said in the statement.

“We are in a period of massive innovation,’’ Gilbert said. “Audiences are migrating from traditional newspapers to digital news sources, which allows us to reach more audiences than ever before.’’ Twitter postings from staffers inside the company meeting confirmed the details and said some of the paper’s top executives would be leaving.