Mountain Times Closes

Owner wants to put resources into larger Salt Lake City Weekly.

AAN’s smallest-circulation paper, Mountain Times, published its final edition Thursday after its owner decided to focus resources on his flagship paper, Salt Lake City Weekly.

John Saltas, who publishes and owns a majority interest in both weeklies, said closing the Park City, Utah, paper will free up the other paper at a critical moment in the local newspaper war. The daily Salt Lake Tribune is being sold and Deseret News wants to terminate the local Joint Operating Agreement, and Saltas wants Salt Lake City Weekly’s coverage to be at its best during this period of tension and transition.

“We were content with the way Mountain Times was progressing,” Saltas said, adding the three-year-old paper was not losing money. “But the reality is we need to focus our emphasis on the mothership.”

Mountain Times launched in 1997, and became a member of AAN in 1999. At that year’s annual convention, the paper was recommended by the Admissions Committee, which was impressed by the paper’s ability to “maintain a relentlessly bratty attitude in a tiny Utah resort town … (which) shows that you can be alternative in unlikely markets.”

Next week, Salt Lake City Weekly will increase its circulation to 60,000 and will distribute as many as 3,000 copies on Mountain Times’ old turf. Saltas said his goal is to take circulation up to 65,000 next year.

Most of Salt Lake City Weekly’s staff did double duty at Mountain Times, so only one position was eliminated when the paper was shuttered, Saltas said.

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