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Salt Lake Tribune Editor Resigns

May 1, 2003

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ The editor of the Salt Lake Tribune resigned Thursday, two days after two of the paper’s reporters were dismissed for lying about selling information to a supermarket tabloid in the Elizabeth Smart case.

Tribune publisher Dean Singleton, also head of the newspaper’s owner, MediaNews Group, announced the resignation after meeting with the newspaper’s staff Thursday afternoon.

James E. Shelledy will remain with MediaNews, but it wasn’t immediately clear it what capacity. Bill Long, corporate editor for MediaNews, was appointed interim editor.

``I don’t think the public image was that imperiled. The big shock was in the newsroom,″ Singleton told The Associated Press after the announcement.

Reporters Michael Vigh and Kevin Cantera were each paid $10,000 by the National Enquirer for information included in a story that was later retracted.

The reporters offered to quit after the payments became know. But Shelledy refused their resignations, instead putting them on a year’s probation and pulling them off coverage of the Smart case.

On Tuesday, he announced their firings. He said they told him they had given the tabloid only a ``roadmap″ of the investigation, but that he later learned they had provided a much larger part of the story.

The July 2 Enquirer story headlined ``Utah Cops: Secret Diary Exposes Family Sex Ring″ has been retracted as part of a settlement between the Smart family and the tabloid.

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