Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Any chance of action on immigration reform in the near future?

Published: Sunday, Nov. 3 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Webb: When I worked for the Deseret News many years ago, the Tribune was dominant with double the circulation of the afternoon Deseret News. LDS Church ownership of the News was considered by many people to be a liability. But both papers were profitable and newspaper executives were happy.

Today, the Internet and digital age have ravaged the news business, but have given the Deseret News a great new opportunity that it is smartly exploiting. Now, through digital means, the newspaper can serve the international membership of the LDS Church and people worldwide who hold similar values. It’s a big audience, and through audience and market research the newspaper has learned what news and information this audience wants. Thus, the websites of the Deseret News and KSL radio/television have exploded, reaching enormous audiences, and the print editions have caught up and surpassed the Tribune.

The Tribune is owned by a New York-based hedge fund and is left serving a dwindling print newspaper readership in Utah, although its digital audience is growing.

I am an old guy who likes hard news. My generation of newspaper readers is dying out. Utah is best served by having two good, competitive newspapers. That’s what we have currently, and I trust it will continue.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D’Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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