Trib and DNews Swap Roles in Vivian Lee Saga.

In a latter-day turn-around, The Salt Lake Tribune is now the newspaper burdened by a humongous sacred cow—rather than the Mormon church-owned Deseret News.

The Trib published a small story online Friday, based on a memo obtained through Utah’s open-records law that added a bit of insight into the timing of the firing and rehiring of Huntsman Cancer Institute CEO Mary Beckerle. It’s not news that the mess was triggered by differences over a funding agreement between the institute and the university.

If you’ll recall the fiasco ended with former UofU Health Sciences CEO Vivian Lee resigning after institute founder Jon Huntsman Sr. threw a tantrum on KSL radio’s Doug Wright Show and in a two-page ad in both papers.

But the Tribune is, of course, owned by Jon Huntsman Sr.’s son Paul Huntsman. The Trib is completely transparent about its ownership and obviously is digging into the Lee firing and the Beckerle firing-rehiring.

But the most credible coverage so far has been by the Deseret News. What is needed now is in-depth coverage of the search for a replacement for Lee and the rewriting of the UofU and the institute’s memorandum of understanding.

It will be interesting to see if Trib editors have a free hand chasing this important story.

Full disclosure: Glen Warchol worked at different times for The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News.

Glen Warchol
Glen Warchol
The late, great Glen Warchol passed away in 2018. His last billet was on the editorial staff here at Salt Lake magazine but his storied career included stops at The Salt Lake Tribune, The Desert News, The New Times and others. His stories haunt this website like ghosts in a machine and we're always happy to see them. RIP Papa Warchol.

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