Readers will notice changes in the Deseret News in the next few weeks as the newspaper attempts to make up shortfalls due to declining advertising revenue.

The paper will no longer print a separate edition for Utah Valley, but will fold coverage into a single edition of the paper. The Utah County bureau will continue to operate, though with a smaller staff.

The News has closed its longtime bureau in Washington, D.C. It will rely on reporters in Salt Lake City and wire copy to cover Utah's congressional delegation and national politics.

The paper's business section, including stock pages, will be eliminated in its current format. Business news will be relocated inside the A section.

In addition, some sections of the paper will be combined or streamlined to be more efficient in the printing process. The Sunday Arts and Travel sections, for example, will be contained within the same section.

Despite the changes, editor Joe Cannon said the paper going forward will have substantially the same content it does today.

"We still expect to deliver what people have come to know as the Deseret News," Cannon said.

Last month the paper announced it would cut up to 35 staff positions as a result of a 32 percent drop in mostly classified ad revenue since January.

As of Tuesday, the paper let go 34 employees through attrition and voluntary and involuntary layoffs. The personnel cuts crossed all newspaper departments. Those laid off were offered a severance package equal to 1 1/2 weeks of pay for each year of service, plus three additional weeks' pay. Further layoffs are not anticipated.

The News also will place more emphasis on its online edition and local coverage in response to the changing nature of news delivery.

"We are a 24-hour news center," said managing editor Rick Hall. "We're thinking about online as much as we are about print."

Stories will be placed online in a more timely manner to meet the demand for news and information on the Web.


E-mail: romboy@desnews.com