Big shakeups at our daily paper?

Early reports, says the blood letting started on Friday and continued today with terminations and layoffs at all levels and management.

I guess it is the result of dismal sales and subscriptions, and low morale.

I’m sure once new management is settled in we will be hearing all the gory details.

In the meantime, what would you do if you were publisher to turn it around?



33 comments ↓

#1 l3wis on 10.25.16 at 3:13 pm

WARNING. All comments are moderated here. You are welcome to comment on this topic, but please refrain from using specific names and instances. I will just delete them. If you want to tell me something privately, just email me at; fb.art@sio.midco.net

#2 southern exposure on 10.25.16 at 5:05 pm

It’s more like, the dog don’t like the dog food. Agenda journalism.

#3 The D@ily Spin on 10.25.16 at 6:31 pm

I’d like to take the printed paper again. I miss opening it up at breakfast. I didn’t like how several pass through journalists fell into line with the city like two new councilors did. New staff should be city snitch instead of double agents. There’s major news about city corruption that would sell papers into profitability. The city must post in the Argus publicly. Their revenue is required. Keep the salesman looking for commercial clients. I take the WSJ. More news about Sioux Falls in it than the Argus and it’s mostly stock listings.

#4 The D@ily Spin on 10.25.16 at 6:39 pm

Something worth reading before it goes to the bottom of the bird cage, is laid down for dog do, or used under spray paint.

#5 scott on 10.25.16 at 7:09 pm

i’d make the paper all weather, just like kelo.

#6 anominous on 10.25.16 at 7:11 pm

I can’t remember, has the Argus endorsed anyone for president yet? The suspense is killing me.

#7 l3wis on 10.25.16 at 7:33 pm

scott, hey, they also do stories on transgender cheerleaders and sick kids.

#8 l3wis on 10.25.16 at 7:34 pm

anom – I heard it was Bernie Sanders.

#9 hornguy on 10.25.16 at 7:57 pm

Alas, such is the way of Gannett. It’s all about centralization and standardization.

Hardly any of its papers have robust investigative reporting teams because they don’t see any money in it. Investigative reporting, by its very nature, is high cost. They just want columns from local freelancers and someone to summarize the Lincoln/Washington game for sports.

They’re wedded to this USA TODAY NETWORK concept (caps theirs) but can’t see the problem they’ve got is the underlying brand, USA Today, is seen by Americans as garbage. It’s the paper that’s flopped on your doorstep at the Hyatt because you forgot to tell the desk you didn’t want to pay a dollar for it, or casually strewn about a McDonald’s, covered in other people’s greasy fingerprints.

People don’t associate their major brand with quality journalism, and covering their locals in USA Today branding is hurting them, not helping them.

And it’s all too bad, because (no offense here) local investigative stuff is absolutely critical to the health of our communities and institutions, and bloggers can’t be the sole purveyors of it.

#10 l3wis on 10.25.16 at 8:02 pm

“bloggers can’t be the sole purveyors of it.”

AMEN, I’d rather be writing about the weather and transgender cheerleaders.

#11 The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston" on 10.25.16 at 8:49 pm

I heard they are going to endorse Johnson/Weld because Johnson use to live in Aberdeen as a kid….And heck, Aberdeen is a lot closer to us than Aleppo….

But I doubt if they will turn into a weather paper, however. Since their parent paper, USA TODAY, already has that covered. In fact, it is covered with two pages in color….. (Weekly Reader, anyone?)

#12 The Guy from Guernsey on 10.25.16 at 11:34 pm

The first thing which I would do as Publisher to “turn it around” has already been done – to relieve the Content Strategist of his duty. The news staff needs a fresh innoculation of a different and better culture. I’m a bit afraid that the “Gannett culture” is not the “different and better culture” which is needed.

#13 The D@ily Spin on 10.26.16 at 8:54 am

Local blogs seem to be gaining favor. I like the point counterpoint aspect and comments conscensus.

Amazing, you gotta change from Indy to Republican so Amendment V will be on your ballot.

#14 Warren on 10.26.16 at 9:58 am

Part of the story is out of the bag in orint this morning. myers replacing lalley? Not completely unexpected, but myers?

#15 l3wis on 10.26.16 at 10:03 am

Mr. Content Strategist wasn’t ‘doing’ his job for quite awhile, but he was ‘doing’ something 🙂

#16 l3wis on 10.26.16 at 10:04 am

Like they said, Myers was temporary, God help us all. Next thing you know Whitney will be publisher.

#17 scott on 10.26.16 at 10:39 am

per lalley’s face book page “trust no one”.

#18 l3wis on 10.26.16 at 10:57 am

I saw that last night, I also like the comment, “Time to start the Tempest II.” While I don’t recommend doing what Pat did to lose his job, I always got a long with him, even if he didn’t know a damn thing about city government but pretended he did. Should have taken Whitney with him.

#19 Marty on 10.26.16 at 12:43 pm

With regards to the Argus Leader, why would you say you “guess it is the result of dismal sales and subscriptions,” given how Gannett operates ? It routinely lays off staff at some of its most profitable newspapers.

#20 scott on 10.26.16 at 3:16 pm

i only hope that the annual argus bike ride continues.

#21 Anon on 10.26.16 at 3:32 pm

What’s your problem with Myers?

#22 Warren on 10.26.16 at 3:50 pm

Marty, SF has a population of 180k plus. When this city was half that in population, I’d venture the Argus had more subscribers then than now. Print as a way of news conmunications is as obsolete as the pony express became 150 years ago.

#23 Warren on 10.26.16 at 3:54 pm

Anon, what is wrong with myers? If I lived in Food Falls Cory would be great. But I don’t live in Food Falls. I live in Sanford Falls…I mean Sioux Falls.

#24 Warren on 10.26.16 at 3:58 pm

The USA Today, in 34 years of existence, has bever endorsed any political candidate…til now. While the editorial board urged the defeat of Trump, it stopped short of endorsing Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. This is exactly what the argus will do. I’d bet the farm on it.

#25 l3wis on 10.26.16 at 5:08 pm

As I was listening to Belfrage on this topic, there were some things that stuck out. Besides the fact that people get their news from many sources now (radio and internet) the printed paper has trouble keeping up, but they could. As many callers pointed out, the AL has lost connection with the community. While I support their investigative reporting, etc., they must also support a balance of community involvement and connection. When the copy and design desk is in Des Moines and the Publisher is in Denver, and subscription desk is in God Knows where (probably India) and you change local reporters like you change baby’s diapers and you let local politicians use you as a propaganda wing (Beck started this tradition) you lose public interest. The average Joe picks up the AL and says, ‘there is nothing in here about me.’ And that’s not selfishness, that’s what people expect. The 4th estate is supposed to be looking out for the little guy. I use the EC siding story as a great example, when we first brought this to light on DaCola, the media was slow to respond, they waited until the secret settlement to really hammer it down. It was obvious from the beginning shananigans were going on. That’s why an historical presence helps. I’m not patting myself on the back, but since I have been following city government for almost 10 years now, I can city BS coming a mile away at city hall.

I also think the AL messed up by charging for online. They could have easily kept it free with teaser stories that would encourage people to pickup the daily. The website is too busy right now, I would simplify it. KELO has the #1 read website in the state for a reason, it is simple and they don’t charge for it. And as I understand, it is a profitable station.

As for Myers, no ill will, I just don’t think he is mature enough to be the editor.

#26 Warren on 10.26.16 at 6:20 pm

I have also listened to the belfrage podcast. He is so blinded by partisan politics, he cannot see where his brand of “information” is also headed. Remember the part about why he uses the term, the name we do not speak? Brought on by a partisan articke about Tim Johnson? Come on belfrage!!! You’re talk radio format is not partisan? Of course it is. belfrage, followed by limbaugh, followed by hannity, followed by levin? With fox news updates every twenty minutes? limbaugh is done, same as the argus. In fact, so is all of kelo’s format.

The proof is in the pudding.
http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/business-journal/2016/10/11/ratings-return-local-radio-stations/91922982/

#27 Warren on 10.26.16 at 7:55 pm

How the argus can turn it around? First and foremost, they need someone who has their finger on the pulse of city politics. It is messy, and only going to get messier. People need to know why their water rates have quadrupled in ten years. Issues like that, the argus does not know where or how to begin. There is someone who does. Scott Ehrisman could do just that. People need to know. That’s why I come here.

#28 l3wis on 10.26.16 at 8:44 pm

Warren, Thank you. I appreciate it. I as well as my behind the scenes team (and there are several) appreciate it.

The truth is a sticky thing, it can free you, it can also chain you. I have no doubt in my mind that my blog has hurt me in many ways, financially and socially. I have had many opportunities I have passed up because they didn’t make me ‘feel right’.

I may no longer go to a Christian church, but the teachings of Jesus Christ have made a profound effect on my life.

Help others, love your neighbor, and always seek the truth. We are all in this together. Breaking bread with your brothers, sisters and neighbors goes a long ways. I have learned more from the less fortunate then I have from the fortunate.

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

#29 LJL on 10.26.16 at 10:26 pm

Help us god… Where we get all of our bicycling info? With Lazeey out it can only get better.

#30 Titleist on 10.26.16 at 10:35 pm

Pat, in the immortal words of Neil Young, “Long may you run.”

#31 The D@ily Spin on 10.27.16 at 9:47 am

What if we don’t have a paper? The Shopping News becomes city business and obituaries. That’s good, circulation becomes everybody and it’s free. Will they have weekly crossword and comics? Rather than reporters, they should post a spot with blog links such as this. In the current environment, people are the subject and resource.
The Argus waited to long. I doubt there’s a turn around. Even with free online.
I respect the Argus for suing the city to get info on the EC settlement. As usual, the city kept them in court and ignored the judgement. The city can because the charter defines them as a sovereign nation not subject to rule of law.

#32 SF Resident on 10.27.16 at 4:08 pm

Neither Stu Whitney nor Corey Myers have any depth of understanding about SF issues and politics. Their history is with sports and food. No wonder fewer and fewer in our community take the AL seriously.

I personally feel very sad about this. I remember as a child sitting on the front steps of our home waiting for the 4 o’clock edition of the Argus Leader. It was a centerpiece of our life in Sioux Falls.

#33 Dan on 10.28.16 at 11:53 am

The Argus no longer covers enough local news and events. The paper is dwindling in overall content and the half page add that covers the paper once a week is a real pain (at least it could be the middle of the paper not the outside).

The one thing that is driving me to think about canceling my subscription is the online newspaper.
When I search for the Argus online it brings up a nicely formatted paper. The when I login, which is a pain I gain access to a poorly formatted e-paper. They really need to let us gain automatic access if we are subscribers with an account.