- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Paul Huntsman will take over as publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune when his deal to purchase the newspaper becomes official, likely next week, he told the newsroom Thursday.

Terry Orme will continue as the newspaper’s top editor but cede his title as publisher, The Salt Lake Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1OQaZTU ). Orme said he’s excited about the new ownership and flattered the Huntsmans trust him.

During the meeting, Paul Huntsman and his father, wealthy industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr., once again tried to assuage fears that their ownership would change the newspaper’s role as an independent watchdog.

The Huntsmans, who are predominantly Mormon and Republican, are one of the most influential families in Utah.

“Put away your thoughts that the family will make (the paper) an organ for the LDS Church or the Republican Party,” Huntsman Sr. said. “We’re not going to tell you what to write.”

Huntsman Sr. 78, told Tribune journalists to “always tell the truth” and base their reporting on reliable sources.

“If that’s the case,” he said, “print whatever it is.”

Digital First Media announced the deal to sell the newspaper to Paul Huntsman in April. Terms were not disclosed.

The deal was widely viewed as a positive development. The Tribune was struggling after a recently revised joint operating agreement with the Deseret News cut its share of profits nearly in half in exchange for an undisclosed, one-time lump sum to Digital First Media.

Paul Huntsman, 46, said he expects the deal to close Tuesday.

“We’re very, very excited to start this transition,” said Paul Huntsman, who runs the family company’s private investment arm

He said Tribune editors will be tasked with identifying areas where the newspaper has regressed and a come up with plan to improve.

He promised decisions affecting the newspaper and community would be made in Salt Lake City, not in Denver or New York, where Digital First leaders are.

The Huntsmans run a major cancer research center and the family name adorns university arenas and college programs. Paul Huntsman’s brother, Jon Huntsman Jr., is a former Utah governor.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com

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