SALT LAKE CITY — Jennifer Napier-Pearce will be replacing Terry Orme as editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, the newspaper's leadership announced Friday.

Napier-Pearce recently left the paper to become associate director of communications at the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics. She will return to the newspaper, where she worked in various multimedia capacities starting in 2013.

"Jennifer brings a wealth of experience in journalism and an extensive understanding of the digital opportunities associated with how news is distributed to our readers," Tribune owner and publisher Paul Huntsman said in a prepared statement. "We're delighted she's decided to rejoin the Tribune team."

Orme has been at the newspaper for nearly 40 years, joining as a reporter and later becoming editor over entertainment and arts coverage, followed by a promotion to managing editor for news. In 2013, he became editor and publisher.

Huntsman, who purchased the newspaper in May, said he seeks "a more digitally focused Tribune with an editor who understands and assumes responsibility for that crucial lifeline to the Tribune's future."

Huntsman said Orme has performed "ably and admirably" during his tenure, including leading the newspaper through "grueling times of bleak finances and staff layoffs."

Orme on Friday expressed "tremendous admiration and affection" for the newspaper's staff.

Napier-Pearce's 20 years in journalism included stints as director and reporter at both KUER 90.1 and KCPW 88.3 FM. At the newspaper, she created an online video interview show. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah and a master's degree from Stanford University.

In a prepared statement, Napier-Pearce said she was "honored and humbled" to accept the offer.

Napier-Pearce will become the newspaper's second female editor, following Nancy Conway, who retired in 2013 after leading the newsroom for 10 years. Deputy editor Tim Fitzpatrick will serve as interim editor until Sept. 1.

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com, Twitter: MorganEJacobsen