Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sioux Falls | In a rare layoff memo: 12 job cuts

A Gannett Blogger says Publisher Randell Beck distributed the following memo today to employees of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D. The memo also is noteworthy because fewer and fewer publishers and general managers disclose this sort of news in writing.

To all:

Today we are eliminating nine fulltime and three parttime positions at Argus Leader Media as the economy continues to present challenges to our business. I considered a number of options to reduce expenses as we focus on building revenue. While all Gannett markets are dealing with many of the same economic forces, including a recovery that has been much slower than anyone anticipated, our plan and reductions in force represent a local decision.

It was a difficult one -- and I want to sincerely thank those affected for their service to this company. We are seeking to notify affected employees as quickly as possible to minimize any uncertainty. Human resources and department heads from news, production and circulation will be working to make sure this occurs.

At Argus Leader Media, we are doing many of the right things throughout our organization that will drive success in the future. I am optimistic that our strong journalism, multimedia solutions for advertisers and exceptional distribution network will ensure that success.

I will be hosting town hall meetings for employees at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday in the training center to discuss more details about our efforts going forward. I'll do my best to answer your questions at each session.

Again, I want to express thanks and best wishes to those affected by these moves. And thanks to all employees for your commitment, talent and hard work. For further explanation, a letter from Bob Dickey, president of Gannett's community newspapers, is attached.

Randell Beck
President & Publisher


  1. Good for him for giving the employees a chance to ask questions.

  2. Yeah, but I'll bet you he doesn't have any answers, besides, "I'm sorry."

    At the Gannett place I worked at before being laid off, the publisher was totally useless. People would ask questions, and he either didn't know, or he'd lie.

  3. I worked for Randall in the past in the Sioux Falls newsroom. From what I hear from former colleagues, he's handled the layoffs in a straightforward manner and with a lot of personal pain.

    "I'm sorry" may not cut it, but sometimes that's the best that can be done.

  4. I give this guy a lot of credit for being a stand-up publisher and willing to talk face-to-face with the employees.

    Seems to have integrity and a sense of concern for the people - not just the dollars.

    Kinda rare in its own way.

  5. Randell is a good and decent man.

  6. Gannett would be in good hands with Randell in a top spot at corporate. He doesn't take or give BS. Class act that doesn't spin what he doesn't understand. He should buy his paper and move forward.

  7. Randell is a stand-up guy with as solid a news background as anyone in Gannett. I'm quite certain he's trying to do the right thing in answering employee questions the best he can. Others are calling many of the shots with this deal, and he's doing what he can with the hand he's been dealt.


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