The Deseret News got the ownership of the presses that the newspapers share and the outrageously favorable profit share, while the hedge fund got a boatload of cash.
The most cynical of the opponents have speculated the deal with the hedge fund was a scheme to do away with the newspaper whose editorial voice is independent from Utah's dominant church.
Ellison writes in his email to me and others at The Tribune that this has happened before with sugar.
He referenced a "Living History" column that Tribune editorial cartoonist Pat Bagley wrote last August about the development of the Mormon church-owned Utah-Idaho Sugar Co. and how it squeezed out competing sugar companies by getting the faithful sugar beet farmers to sell only to U&I, even when competitors offered more money.
He also referenced a letter to the editor in The Tribune last August that was a response to Bagley's column.
Charlie Schmalz, of Ogden, wrote that he spent 40 years in the sugar industry 12 of them with U&I Sugar and he witnessed firsthand the tactics designed to eliminate the competition and create a monopoly.
"While the church as an entity did not engage in the less than honorable [by today's business standards] activities [Bagley] recounts, individuals who were also highly placed in the church did act to constrain trade and coerce growers to limit their contact with competing sugar companies," Schmalz wrote.
Ellison's ancestors, E.P. and James E. Ellison, started the Layton Sugar Co. in 1915 "right in the middle of U&I Sugar territory. How dare they," he wrote.
Then, after years of lending money to help with the debt and obligations of the smaller Layton Sugar, the church owned 51 percent of Layton Sugar stock because it insisted on being repaid in stock, not cash.
In 1959, Layton Sugar's board of directors was mostly appointed by the church. Antoine Ivans was named chairman of the board and a proposed sale of Layton Sugar to U&I Sugar Co. took place.
"The bottom line is that is just the way the church does business. Eliminate the competition no matter what the cost," Ellison wrote.
So it happened with sugar. Could it happen with news?