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Joseph Cannon

Joseph A. Cannon

Title: Editor

Company: Deseret News

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Educational Background:

BS, Political Science, Brigham Young University, 1974
JD, Brigham Young University, 1977

Huntsman School Interactions:

MSHR Executive Program Guest Speaker - November 10, 2010
Dean's Convocation Speaker - February 3, 2010


Joseph A. Cannon is the editor of the Deseret News, Utah’s oldest newspaper that has a Sunday circulation of more than 83,000. He was hired as editor in 2006, taking a job that his grandfather, Joseph J. Cannon, and his great grandfather, George Q. Cannon, had filled before him.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations, an organization that tracks newspaper circulation numbers, reported in November of 2009 that newspapers, on average, we're seeing their daily circulation numbers drop by 10.6 percent. The Deseret News has seen circulation increases in 2007 and 2008. In fall of 2009, the Deseret News experienced a decline of 3.4 percent in circulation numbers but an increase of 4.1 percent in the circulation of its Sunday paper.

Soon after becoming the editor, Mr. Cannon said the paper needed to acknowledge that many of its readers are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the paper shouldn’t shy away from covering issues that would be especially interesting to its LDS readers. It launched a weekly subset of the newspaper called Mormon Times that not only goes to Utah subscribers but also to others out of state.

Before coming to the Deseret News, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where he specialized in environmental, natural resources, energy, and administrative law. He was also the co-leader of the Public Practice & Political Law Team.

He played the leading role in the purchase of Geneva Steel from USX Corporation and was its CEO until 2001. The reopening of the plant in 1987 put back to work thousands of people who had lost their jobs.

From 1985 to 1987, he was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, a firm that specialized in environmental and administrative law. He was the assistant administrator for Air and Radiation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1983 to 1985. During his time with the EPA, Mr. Cannon successfully led an effort to get lead out of gasoline, a move that reduced the amount of harmful pollution going into the air.

From 2001 to 2006, he served as chairman of the Utah State Republican Party and as a member of the Republican National Committee.

He was on the Reagan-Bush Committee in 1980 where he assisted in the preparation and editing of presidential debate briefing papers for the Carter-Reagan debates. He also served on the Regan-Bush Presidential Transition Team. He was on the George Bush for President Committee from 1979 to 1980.

He was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 1987 by Utah Business Digest and "Businessman of the Year" in 1988 by the Utah Manufacturers Association. He was also inducted into the Utah Business Hall of Fame in 1991.

He earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Brigham Young University in 1974 and graduated with a law degree, cum laude, from Brigham Young University in 1977.

Married to Janeal Barney, Mr. Cannon resides in Provo, Utah. They have seven children.


Dean's Convocation: February 3, 2010