Unlike USAT, where the emphasis is on changing from a print-centric organization, Deseret News CEO Clark Gilbert missed just about every opportunity to show his new organization in a cross-platform light. Also unlike the Gannett flagship, the publisher and editor are leaving amidst the shakeup.
For instance, despite the 43 percent staff cuts (57 full-time, 28 part-time) Gilbert claims the newly combined newsroom will be the area's largest—but doesn't mention being better positioned to serve readers with breaking news or the usual bits we hear as justification for digital-age shakeups. The creation of Deseret Connect—essentially a freelance network—mentions writers and editors but not connecting local blogs or the like. All we know about digital's role is this has to be done because technology advances are killing papers—and the new digital team is "cutting edge."
The changes in content emphasis for in-depth coverage focus on values that Gilbert says fit the marketplace and are in keeping for a company owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: the family; financial responsibility; excellence in education; care for the needy; values in the media; and faith in the community. Playing down the digital-mobile emphasis in many newsrooms making changes may also reflect the marketplace, or the perception that their readers care more about the steady influence of a print paper than apps and sites.