Back in August 2010, the Deseret News announced substantial layoffs (totaling roughly 43% of its workforce) and a number of observers predicted — and not a few of them rejoiced — that this was the beginning of the end for the venerable daily newspaper of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After all, aren’t newspapers in general declining, nationally? (Answer: Overwhelmingly, yes.)
I had the occasion, though, not too long after that, to meet at some length in his office with Clark Gilbert, the head of Deseret Digital Media and the president and CEO of the Deseret News. As he outlined his vision for the future of the Deseret News, energetically jumping up from his desk over and over again to sketch things out on his white board, I was dazzled. Very impressed. Excited to be even a small part of it. I loved the high quality of the people who were joining the paper in both editorial and advisory positions. (See here, for example.) It wasn’t going to be just a sleepy, ordinary, unremarkable, rather conventionally conservative newspaper in a middle-sized market anymore.
Now it seems that Dr. Gilbert’s vision for the Deseret News is being vindicated:
Those who predicted the demise of the Deseret News – including some over at its rival, the Salt Lake Tribune — were, it seems, wrong.
I’m delighted. Even though we all know, however little we may mention it publicly, that the real reason for this remarkable success over the past few years is . . . well, my weekly Thursday column and the column that Bill Hamblin and I contribute every other Saturday.