Longtime Utah newsman and pundit LaVarr Webb has sold his online new aggregator, Utah Policy, to the Deseret News, the Salt Lake City daily newspaper said last week.
“The Utah Policy brand and its mission align well with the Deseret News’ growing local and national news presence,” said Boyd Matheson, Deseret News opinion editor and head of strategic reach.
“LaVarr Webb and the Utah Policy team have been the go-to source for behind-the-scenes policy and politics for many years,” Matheson said. “Utah Policy will continue to deliver as a daily news aggregator and inside source for thought leaders, influencers, executives, policy players and politicos.”
Matheson said Utah Policy “will continue to grow and expand as an independent voice within our local and national strategy and portfolio of online and print products.”
Webb’s career includes stints as a reporter and editor beginning in Southern Utah in the early 1970s. He worked for the Deseret News from 1976 to 1989 and as campaign manager and policy advisor for former Republican Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt in the mid-’90s. Webb also co-founded the Exoro Group public relations firm in 2002 but retired from the business in 2014, though he continues to do independent consulting work. He launched Utah Policy in 2004.
“From the beginning, one of our key features has been to aggregate public policy and political coverage of interest to Utah readers,” Webb told the Deseret News. “That work will continue under the new ownership with links to daily news stories and the other features that we’ve developed. The target audience has always been the public policy community. It is the elected officials, appointed officials, all of the people that revolve around the world of politics and public policy. That includes people who are just highly interested in politics.
“As I have reached and surpassed retirement age, I’ve wanted to slow down a little and wanted Utah Policy Daily to continue,” Webb said in explaining the sale. He will continue to manage Utah Policy under Deseret News ownership. Terms of the purchase were not announced.