Newspaper Agency Corporation

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The Newspaper Agency Corporation Inc. (or NAC or NACorp) is a printing, delivery and advertising company jointly owned by the Deseret Morning News and The Salt Lake Tribune, the two major daily newspapers in Salt Lake City, Utah.

History[edit]

Starting in 1948 long-time rivals the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune, along with several newspapers in the country, were experiencing financial troubles. The News had begun an aggressive plan to win new subscribers, including improving content as well as offering prizes to new readers. The Deseret News had been floundering for years while The Salt Lake Tribune controlled market share, although the Tribune still felt economic pressure. Rising printing costs also contributed to this decline.

In 1952 the two papers worked out a 30-year agreement, known as the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA). The agreement, founding the NAC, combined the expenses of press, advertising, circulation and mechanical departments, while still maintaining separate newsrooms. Longtime Tribune publisher John F. Fitzpatrick was the architect of the NAC. He approached his friend and LDS President David O. McKay with the idea. Fitzpatrick's brainchild, the JOA would ensure the continuation of the News while keeping the dominant position of the Tribune in the state. Without this agreement the Deseret News may have fallen into ruin after a failed subscription promotional effort. The agreement also allowed the Tribune to sell its lackluster afternoon paper, the Salt Lake Telegram to the News, which was then an evening paper. The Telegram promptly ceased publication.

There was much confusion early on; many people confused joint presses with joint newsrooms. Adding to this confusion, beginning in 1952 the Deseret News stopped printing a Sunday edition. News subscribers would receive a Sunday copy of the Tribune instead.

The NAC was the subject of congressional antitrust investigations during the 1960s, but in 1970 Richard Nixon signed the Newspaper Preservation Act, protecting the NAC.

The JOA was renewed in 1982. The agreement negotiated between publishers Wendell J. Ashton of the Deseret News and John W. Gallivan of The Salt Lake Tribune, allowed the Deseret News to print a Sunday paper again.[1] The new agreement is in effect until 2012.

In a move thought to be an embrace of the "convergence" of newspaper, radio, television and the Internet, NAC is planning to change its name to "Media One," thereby ridding itself of the notion that it is solely dedicated to the production of only newspapers. However the confusion carried over from the NAC still exists with most advertisers and subscribers alike.

References[edit]

  • Woodward, Don C., ed. (1999), Through Our Eyes: 150 Years of History as Seen Through the Eyes of the Writers and Editors of the Deseret News, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Publishing Co. ISBN 1-57345-660-8
  • Malmquist, O. N. (1971), The First 100 Years: A History of the Salt Lake Tribune, 1871-1971, Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society.