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Political and investigative reporter Matt Canham has been named The Salt Lake Tribune's senior managing editor, one of a series of changes announced Tuesday at Utah's largest daily.
In what she called a first phase of newsroom restructuring, Tribune Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce said Canham, 36, will oversee day-to-day newsroom operations, while longtime columnist Paul Rolly will add a new role of mentoring young journalists (continuing his column as well) and political reporter Robert Gehrke will become a columnist.
Napier-Pearce and Paul Huntsman, the paper's owner and publisher, also announced imminent upgrades to The Tribune's digital offerings, as well as an across-the-board 5 percent pay raise for all newsroom staffers, the first of its kind in more than a decade.
Despite these changes and more to come, they said Huntsman and Napier-Pearce wrote in a staff email, "we can assure you that The Tribune will never abandon its purpose as a watchdog over Utah's institutions of power, its positioning as a platform for vivid storytelling and its reputation as a trusted voice for all Utahns."
Huntsman said the salary hikes and other investments were intended to convey his "confidence and excitement with the team" as well as the long-term nature of his approach since buying The Tribune in May.
"This is a generational investment for me," Huntsman told newsroom staffers. "The Salt Lake Tribune and what we represent here in the community is going to go on for generations."
The Salt Lake City-based paper has already added pages to its print publication for more Utah news, Huntsman noted, and will be extending some deadlines to include additional late-night news and sports coverage.
Napier-Pearce, whom Huntsman hired in August as top editor, praised Canham for his hard-charging dedication to journalism, his innovation and leadership. The Salt Lake City native is a University of Utah graduate, co-author of two books and has been a Tribune reporter for 14 years, seven of those as a correspondent in Washington, D.C.
Canham said he would press for the paper to be more aggressive and nimble in its news-gathering while also fostering collaboration.
Napier-Pearce said putting Canham over newsroom operations and content standards will allow other editors to step up their focus on coordinating cross-team investigative coverage and special projects.
Huntsman, who purchased the paper from the New York-based media chain Digital First Media, said he was closing in on technical upgrades to improve the paper's website, sltrib.com, and its delivery to mobile devices, viewed as a vital platform for reaching new readers.