Subject: Good-bye Deseret News?
Date: Aug 13, 2010
Author: lulu

'Significant layoffs are expected at the Deseret News, prompting questions about its future as a print publication and even its location in the Downtown Rising blueprint...And the layoffs aren't small: Likely a third of the staff will be let go, with some estimating cuts as high as 50 to 60 percent."
"In the next few weeks, a significant part of the DNews staff will be laid off.

• What remains will leave the Deseret News building in the heart of downtown to be resettled with KSL in the Triad Center.

• The DNews will no longer publish daily, but three days or so a week (it would, of course, continue to exist online with Mormon Times)."


Subject: If there is one thing Mark Willis knows how to do it is destroy a Newspaper
Date: Aug 14 13:11
Author: NoToJoe

He drove the LA Times into the ground and the Chandlder family, who had run the Times for over 100 years, was forced to sell out to the Chicago Tribune to save their paper. What Willis does is make deep cuts on the news side of the house and then fill columns with AP news wire material. He cuts costs, cuts costs and cuts costs until the organization is only a shadow of what is used to be while maxamizing inches for advertising.

He will increase profits in the near term but then the subscriber base will start shrinking since the paper will read like USA Today....or in this case just a sticky sweet, KSLesq, zoloft laced, reporting of how Mormonism is still relevant and how Utah is the center of the universe.

He would have destroyed the LA Times if the Chandlers hadn't stepped in to save it. HOPEFULLY HE WILL BE SUCCESFULL AT DESTROYING THE DESNEWS!!!!!


Subject: Maybe they can just make working at the DN a calling so they don't have to pay them? nt


Subject: aren't all print newspapers suffering nowadays?
Date: Aug 14 00:25
Author: Bonnie

I didn't think there were a lot of print newspapers that were doing well.

Lots of people get their news online, don't they?


Subject: I liked this part
Date: Aug 14 00:33
Author: JoD3:360

Despite the recent de-evolution of the 150-year-old DNews under Editor Joe Cannon (photo above) and Willes from the "Christian Science Monitor of the West" to a LDS faith-promoting publication with a purged political staff, it still remained a player in Utah's media, particularly in state government coverage.

>Newspapers, including The Tribune, have struggled the last few years with declining revenues following the online information revolution, but the DNews also has been buffeted by pressures to publish news with a positive slant and to advance the LDS religion. Such goals are, of course, an anathema to good journalism.

The funny thing is that everyone in the business thought the DNews would outlast the Tribune because of its iconic position in LDS Church history. But all it took was a couple of suits with a management theory.


Subject: The paper has gone downhill
Date: Aug 14 00:48
Author: Beavis Christ

And in direct proportion to its attempt to be a shill for the LSD church. I think they also managed to infect the Tribune as well, dragging it down too.

The DN has been spared from a lot of the layoffs that have hit most of the other papers in the U.S. Looks like those days are over.

I don't think that the morg would have it cease daily publication though. That would be an embarrassment to them and everyone would laugh. Monson and the other 14 wouldn't stand for that.


Subject: I wonder if this is a reflection of the money-crunch the morg...
Date: Aug 14 01:08
Author: Adult of god

surely must be experiencing, along with some other bad decisions as noted below: (It's a comment from the article linked above.)

ann1000days says:
I've been following this for a while. Remember, it was Willes who destroyed the LATimes, once one of the country's best newspapers. He is a power freak who demolishes everything he touches. Eventually, he was fired when the owners finally wised up to see that he was incompetent.

I look for Jim Wall, the in-name-only publisher, to get the boot among others. And, Cannon might be among them.

It will be a sad day for journalism despite the church's control of content. Many of the reporters and editors, some LDS, are devoted to their craft and work like dogs to do a decent job, despite the overhanging thumb of the theocracy. Rick Hall is among the best editors, as is Matt Brown. The DNews photo staff, what's left of it, is outstanding.

Cannon is a misfit, literally. He should never have been hired for that job. He can't write, doesn't know anything about editing and hates the word journalism.

The thought once was that if Salt Lake City were to be a one-newspaper town, the newspaper would be the Deseret News because of the great financial backing of the so-called church.

It ain't over, recalling Yogi, 'till it's over. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

As with the Tribune's staff and all other local media there was bound to be layoffs at the DNews. But the rumors I hear and read about indicate this will not be tidy. It will be a blood-letting unseen in this state.

If the newspaper moves in with KSL, it will leave the Associated Press as the lone occupant of the building, which is only about six or seven years old. And, I understand the AP staff has been decimated and now has only several reporters. That could mean the AP will relocate, probably to a phone booth. Oh, oh. There aren't any of those around either.


Subject: Re: Good-bye Deseret News?
Date: Aug 14 01:23
Author: Seeingtruelight

Hmmmm, this actually cheered me up a little bit tonight...what does that say about me?! LOL


Subject: I heard that there was a wolf among the sheep who was going to print something about me & polygamy
Date: Aug 14 02:07
Author: Joseph Smith

So I ordered it closed down.

I will not tolerate a "Deseret Expositor" among the Saints, thus saith the Lord.

Meaning me.


Subject: Up to 60 % of the staff?
Date: Aug 14 02:18
Author: MJ

They could do that just by getting rid of everyone that censors the on line comments!


Subject: Re: Good-bye Deseret News?
Date: Aug 14 03:24
Author: Reinventing Grace

Here's a good description of the DesNews (from the City Weekly article)

>> were accompanied with simple declarations like "holy shit." <<


Subject: Deserted News
Date: Aug 14 17:00
Author: Ken Taylor

That's what we libs at YBU used to call it. Now it's about to become just that.


Subject: Social Internet Media is destroying newspapers
Date: Aug 14 19:53
Author: alex71ut

The Deseret News is joining almost all newspapers on the road to irrelevance and/or extinction. About the only way to save the newspaper industry is to outlaw the internet and mobile phones text messaging. The internet has been decimating the newspaper readerships for over 15 years and the trend downward has continued with strength as social internet media sources like Facebook/Twitter, search engines like Google/Bing and blogging/forums are becoming more robust media for disseminating/analyzing news/information. This trend IMHO won't be turning back anytime soon.


Subject: With the "Deseret News" About to be Hit with Crippling Staff Cuts, Some Personal Reminiscences...
Date: Aug 14 03:15
Author: steve benson

First, to put things in larger context, some recent observations from "Salt Lake Tribune" blogger Glen Warchol:

"The DNews will no longer publish daily, but three days or so a week (it would, of course, continue to exist online with 'Mormon Times')."

Warchol describes the "Deseret News's" continuing constriction as evidence of its "recent de-evolution . . . from the 'Christian Science Monitor of the West' to a LDS faith-promoting publication with a purged political staff."

"Newspapers, including 'The Tribune,'" he writes, "have struggled the last few years with declining revenues following the online information revolution, but the DNews also has been buffeted by pressures to publish news with a positive slant and to advance the LDS religion. Such goals are, of course, an anathema to good journalism."

(Glen Warchol, "Bad news for DNews," under "Salt Lake Crawler," in "Salt Lake Tribune," at:

From my own experience and that of fellow doodlers, I can tell you that trying to do editorial cartoons for the Mormon-owned "Deseret News" was, well, trying.

For example, Calvin Grondahl--a returned Mormon missionary (New Zealand) and premiere editorial cartoonist for BYU's 'Daily Universe' student newspaper in the 1970s--was hired away by the 'Deseret News' without graduating from college. (His most famous cartoon done on Provo's seminarian school grounds showed a battered and bruised BYU student under a pile of rocks, muttering to a campus policeman, "All I said was, 'He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone'").

Cal lasted for only a few years at the "Deseret News," where he finally quit in frustration and moved north to work with more artistic freedom at the "Ogden Standard Examiner."

Cal bolted the "Deseret News" because its publisher at the time, Wendell Ashton, informed Cal that he had to choose between competing masters: either working for the "Deseret News" or doing cartoons that were being picked up by "Sunstone" magazine. (Many more of Cal's free-lance cartoons were also eventually published as collections by Signature Books).

Cal was, in fact, found guilty of having made available to a humor-starved Mormon public some hilariously irreverent cartoon anthologies--such as "Freeway to Perfection" and "Faith Promoting Rumors"--cartoons (as I personally witnessed) that at least one General Authority actually secretly enjoyed.

Jack Goaslind (a personal Benson family friend and eventual member of the Quorum of the Seventy) had visited my home in Arizona some years ago during a stake-stumping tour. After conference, I invited him over for lunch, where he sat on the living room couch and nearly laughed his head off, crowing hysterically as he eagerly read through Cal's books.

Apparently, this appreciation for the goofy and inherently spoofy side of Mormonism was not shared by the "Deseret News's" publisher.

Cal recounted to me how he saw the writing on the wall, knew he couldn't last and took his doodling pad to greener pastures.

According to my sources inside the cartooning profession, another cartoonist who followed Cal at the "Deseret News" reportedly got himself in hot water with the Mormon Church for a satirical birthday card cartoon he drew of Thomas S. Monson that included Jesus in it. The cartoon, mind you, was never published in the LDS Church-owned paper; rather, it was privately given to an unappreciative Monson, who was said to have been infuriated by it. The offending cartoonist eventually vanished from the pages of Elohim's newspaper.

My grandfather, Ezra Taft Benson, initially encouraged me to try for the job at the "Deseret News" and even, he said, put in a good word for me there. However, by then I had begun doodling cartoons down in Phoenix for the "Arizona Republic" (where he had no personal input on me getting the job; rather, I was contacted by the "Arizona Republic" editorial page editor about filling the post of their retiring cartoonist of some 50 years, after a research librarian at the Phoenix-based newspaper had passed on to the editor some cartoons I had done while working as a 26-year-old staffer for a Capitol Hill Senate committee in Washington D.C.).

My grandfather soon enough found some of my "Arizona Republic"-produced cartoons to be personally troubling and disturbingly out-of-line with his fiery brand of conservative thinking, both religiously and politically--and told me so (particularly one I did spoofing the Mormon Church's "Salamander Letter" scandal, as well as another critical of a Reagan administration Cabinet member).

On the other hand, my grandfather also derided the "Deseret News," telling me it was too liberal, if you can believe that.

In the meantime, "Deseret News" editor Bill Smart phoned me out of the blue one day at my Phoenix office and asked me if I would like to come to work for the Mormon-owned press in Salt Lake City.

I was, shall we say, not inclined to accept the offer.

Smart told me that he couldn't give me as much money as I was making in Arizona or as much freedom, but did say that a benefit of moving to Salt Lake and working there would be that I'd be closer to my family's home base of operations (Strike three, I thought).

I informed my grandfather that I had turned down the job offer from the "Deseret News," to which he solemnly replied that it was a decision good for both me--and him.

For several years, my syndicated editorial cartoons were nonetheless published in the "Deseret News," for which I would be ungrateful if I did not stand this day and give thanks. :)

Several months ago, however, my drawings finally disappeared from its pages--which was too bad, I guess, since my dad used to send me clipped-out copies of them.

Eventually, I left the Mormon Church in a rather outspoken and public fashion--and was thereafter removed from the pages of the "Daily Universe," which refused to publish any more of my syndicated work, to which it had subscribed for a number of years.

The straw that ostensibly broke the "Daily Universe's" back was a cartoon I did criticizing sexual harassment of female military recruits by U.S. Army drill instructors. In explaining its decision to bid me a not-so-fond adieu, a spokesman for the "Daily Universe" said my cartoons were no longer suitable for consumption by the BYU studentbody. I replied that if the "Universe" expected me to put a smiley face on sexual harassment, they had the wrong cartoonist.

The "Daily Universe's" judgment to jettison my cartoons was rendered, coincidentally enough, soon after a BYU student--Joseph Dallin--had written a letter to the editor of the Lord's university student newspaper (which was published), protesting the use of tithing funds to give print space to the cartoons of a known apostate. (Some years later, Dallin--now a former student--wrote me a personal note to apologize and to acknowledge that he, too, was now a former Mormon. He said that his demand I be removed from the pages of BYU's house organ was a futile attempt on his part to convince himself that he was a stalwart, testimony-holding believer when, in fact, his faith was actually faltering).

Being an editorial "harpoonist" behind the Zion Curtain can be a tricky business.

Indeed, as unfolding developments at the "Deseret News" are indicating, being a Mormon-owned rah-rah "newspaper" behind the Zion Curtain can be a tricky business, too. :)


Subject: As ususal, interesting and informative. I never thought I would live long enough to see...
Date: Aug 14 04:21
Author: get her done

Beneficial and now the Desert news collapse...I am use to thanking God for good things, I am beginning to no know who to thank these days...Maybe this is a a little payback for the expositor incident?? Thanks.


Subject: and this is just the beginning of the collapse
Date: Aug 14 07:32
Author: Unconventional Ideas

There are some writers and thinkers out there who have a very good handle on what is going on. They include:

Joe Bageant
Richard Heinberg
Sharon Astyk
Bill McKibben
Guy McPherson
James Kunstler

and many more


Subject: As I was reading this I got to thinking about the new building
Date: Aug 14 05:37
Author: Baka Boy

that was the pride and joy of the deseret news.


Deseret News Building

Project: Deseret News Building
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Gross Area: 92,000 Square Feet
Project Cost: $15,000,000


I'll tell you, that jesus just keeps getting his wires crossed with his prophet(s). They should have seen this coming.


Subject: So, TSCC can fund shopping malls, but not a newspaper?
Date: Aug 14 06:26
Author: Matt

Oh, of course! It's not a church, but a real estate firm that uses a former church as its base of operations!

(Though some would argue that it had never been a real church in the first place...)


Subject: wasn't Monson in charge of running the Deseret News?
Date: Aug 14 16:55
Author: praydude

I’m not sure what the structure of the Deseret News was like at that time or if it was related to the rest of the church’s publishing arm that Monson was reported to have run. If Deseret were to have been operated by the morg it is funny to think that they didn’t see this downsizing on the horizon. I wonder what else they are not aware of that lies in their path…

Why doesn’t their profit know about such things? They could have prevented this crisis and they should have created a news network that rivals fox.


Subject: Thanks, Steve. Always love hearing your insider stories. n/t


Subject: Thank you for sharing this. It's interesting.
Date: Aug 14 17:17
Author: Moniker

It's telling that it was a cartoon about sexual harrassment that was the straws that broke the "Daily Universe" back.


Subject: Insider perspectives are fascinating and appreciated by many exmos.
Date: Aug 14 20:32
Author: Nightingale

Might one ask why Monson didn't like the 'toon? I can't begin to guess.


Subject: Re: With the "Deseret News" About to be Hit with Crippling Staff Cuts, Some Personal Reminisces . . .
Date: Aug 14 21:03
Author: Bobcat

Thanks for the memories of Cal's work. One of my favorites of his was of a CK husband & wife. She was holding the front door open, scowling at her husband who was hanging on the door knob, obviously three sheets to the wind drunk. She was saying words to the effect of, "Well, I see you've been visiting the Telestial Kingdom again!"

Many years ago, you came to the local Institute of Religion & made a presentation on political cartooning, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The fact that the Desert News(DN) & The Universe (U)turned their backs on your incredible talents & you have been working for the AZ Republic is DN's & U's loss, but our gain. Carry on the great work!



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