Rich newspaper owners: Industry savior or foe?

This April 2016 file photo, shows The Salt Lake Tribune, in Salt Lake City.

The Internal Revenue Service approved a transition for the Salt Lake Tribune to go from a for-profit newspaper to a nonprofit news organization, the Salt Lake Tribune announced Monday.

The change makes the newspaper the first legacy newspaper in the country to become a nonprofit.

The Tribune applied for nonprofit status in May, and said in a press release that they did not expect a response until 2020, but that the department accepted the newspaper’s application in full.

“This is a historic moment for The Tribune and a new day for local journalism across the country,” said Tribune Owner and Publisher Paul Huntsman in a press release. “The IRS approval opens up new possibilities for success for legacy newspapers, and we’re excited to move forward with this solution.”

Under the newspaper’s new structure, The Tribune will be governed by a nonprofit board of directors and will be funded through large and small donations, the press release states. All donations to the paper are tax deductible.

Tribune officials say that other than the new funding structure, the newspaper will operate the same as it has been for decades. The Tribune board, however, will no longer endorse political candidates.