In 1901 newly elected , a , and his business partner, David Keith, secretly bought the . Kearns made strides to eliminate the paper's anti-Mormon overtones, and succeeded in maintaining good relationships with the mostly-LDS state legislature which had elected him to the . After Keith died in 1918 the Kearns family bought out Keith's share of the Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Company.
The Tribune was first published under the name "Salt Lake Daily Tribune and Utah Mining Gazette", with its first issue on April 15, 1871, having this notice:
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The first edition of The Salt Lake Daily Tribune and Utah Mining Gazette was published in 1871. The Salt Lake Tribune's management pledged "where sectional feelings exist it will aim for their abolishment by the encouragement of charitable feelings and the promotion of better acquaintance." More than 120 years later, The Salt Lake Tribune editors push their reporters to find "solution" stories — accounts that demonstrate people solving their communities' problems through cooperation, intelligence and diligence.