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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Paul Edwards has been named editor of the Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Deseret News, Utah's oldest daily newspaper, has named Paul Edwards as editor, Chris Lee as publisher and Rick Hall as Utah edition editor.

This change in leadership follows a similar shift in management and editorial approach in 2010. The new strategy brought in a mixed staff of business professionals and journalism veterans, said Clark Gilbert, CEO of Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media. All three will also hold the title of executive vice president.

Edwards, former executive vice president and provost at Southern Virginia University and political science professor at BYU, will continue as the editor of the Opinion and Faith sections along with his new duties as national editor. He has been with the paper since 2010.

Lee, the paper's new publisher, also joined in 2010 as the vice president of digital content. He served as chief executive officer at Heritage Makers and director of new business development for Ancestry.com.

Hall has been with the Deseret News continuously since 1974, but actually began his association with the paper in 1970 when he worked as a copy boy while still in high school. He has served as managing editor for the paper since 1998 and worked as a city desk reporter and sports reporter, state editor, city editor and Olympics editor.

"This management team exemplifies excellence and a shared commitment to the mission that guides the Deseret News," Gilbert said. "Over the past year, during the paper's radical restructuring, they have helped transform the Deseret News with a new business model for the 21st century, incorporating a cutting-edge digital strategy into our legacy news product and expanding our print products locally and nationally."

The new management, under Gilbert's leadership, reorganized the Deseret News in 2010 and refocused the editorial content. The aim is to provide "intellectually rigorous faith and family-oriented news to an underserved market," Gilbert said.

The News focuses on six areas of emphasis: Family, Financial Responsibilty, Excellence in Education, Care for the Needy, Values in the Media and Faith in the Community.

The restructuring and new approaches to distribution, including the launch of the paper's national edition, have led to a 24 percent increase in the Deseret News' Sunday print circulation and a 0.7 percent rise in daily circulation, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com, TWITTER: @joeyferguson