SALT LAKE CITY — Five employees of the Salt Lake Tribune were laid off Monday, as the newspaper is facing decreasing advertising revenues.

The paper reported that the layoffs were effective immediately, reducing the number of newsroom staffers to 143, according to Tribune Editor Nancy Conway. She said such "tough decisions" are inevitable, "to stay healthy and viable," she stated in a Tribune article posted late Monday.

Rumors of the layoffs began around 3 p.m. with tweets and status updates being posted by various Tribune reporters and other members of the media, who alluded to being in the dark about the situation prior to anyone being laid off.

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The news comes just days after John Paton was appointed as MediaNews Group CEO, to manage the paper's website and print publications along with more than 50 others in 10 eastern and Midwestern states. Conway said the layoffs are not related to Paton's appointment, however, and were a product of discussions with the paper's longtime publisher, William Dean Singleton.

None of the paper's writers were laid off Monday, but copy editors and graphic designers, as well as editors and a newsroom assistant, lost their jobs. Conway doesn't anticipate additional cuts.

Newspapers, as well as other small businesses nationwide, are struggling amid the current weak economical conditions.

Wendy Leonard Twitter: wendyleonards