The Salt Lake Tribune reported today that production of Now In Salt Lake will soon cease, with the June 1 issue being the weekly tabloid's last. Its remaining two employees will be laid off at that time.
Wait, what is Now In Salt Lake, you ask? You might remember the paper as In This Week, a slim volume detailing the goings-on in Salt Lake City via an event calendar and enormous courtesy photos of Nickelback and other exciting music groups, with the cover usually involving a scantily clad woman or someone in a bear suit (see above; how hip!).
In This Week was renamed Now In Salt Lake in the fall of 2011, as part of The Salt Lake Tribune's effort to boost its coverage of entertainment. A new website, NowSaltLake.com, was also launched, in conjunction with Visit Salt Lake and NowPlayingUtah.com. The Now Salt Lake URL redirects to the Tribune's own entertainment section, which carries a Now Salt Lake banner.
Now In Salt Lake/In This Week is the second failed attempt at a tabloid by MediaOne. The Afternoon Buzz was distributed free to commuters at Trax stations for about six months in 2008, but production was ended due to low ad sales.
Now In Salt Lake's sole two editorial staffers, Autumn Thatcher and Daisy Blake, are not named in the Tribune story but it is likely that they are the two employees who are being laid off. They're both credited as "writer" in the paper, but seeing as how they're the sole people on the editorial side of Now, they're probably also responsible for all of the planning, editing and production that goes into the weekly product. And now it seems they're also the people taking the fall for the failure of the entertainment tabloid concept.
Brent Low, CEO of MediaOne—which owns Now In Salt Lake and is the operations arm of both the Tribune and the Deseret News—is quoted in the Tribune story as saying "a weekly tabloid is frankly a thing of the past." Indeed, circulation numbers for that particular weekly tabloid were certainly less than stellar.
According to a 2009 audit by Verified Audit Circulation, In This Week had a distribution of 31,701, with an actual circulation of 21,566—8,829 copies (37 percent of the total printed) were never taken from the racks. Now In Salt Lake does not print its circulation information.
City Weekly distributes 60,000 copies around the Wasatch Front, with an average of 4,672 issues—7.8 percent—being returned.
Now In Salt Lake was also home to the "Sexy in SLC" profile, one which will be sorely missed by me. Its absence means I'll never get the chance to live out my dream of being profiled therein, posing in a bikini, holding a red pen and an AP Stylebook, and finally telling the world about my favorite place to drink coffee.