Corporate is sensitive to the issue of minorities leaving Gannett, given the company's reputation for making diversity a top goal. Just last month, amid the layoff of 700 employees, Corporate's chief publicist, Robin Pence, told minority affairs correspondent Richard Prince:
"As you know, Gannett is tremendously committed to diversity. We have maintained our percentage of female and minority employees over the last few years despite reductions and we work very hard to make sure it's a fair process for all employees."
Agnew's departure was presented as a no-pressure exit, based on the generally glowing remarks Publisher Leslie Hurst made in announcing the move: "I know Ronnie will be deeply missed. Please join me in wishing Ronnie well as he embarks on his new adventure as executive director of MPB. Our loss is their gain. He will be with us through the August election."
Still, it's not uncommon for new publishers to choose their own operating committee members, and Hurst was given the top job in December.