Aberdeen American News laying off seven employees, including shuttering Pierre Bureau and Bob Mercer

The Aberdeen American News is announcing today that as of the end of September, they are closing their Pierre Bureau and ending Bob Mercer’s tenure at the Aberdeen American News due to financial reasons.

American News state government reporter Bob Mercer and sports reporter Shawn Werre were among those whose positions were eliminated.


Bob Mercer’s situation is a little different. He is based in Pierre, and his work is sold by our company to other news outlets in South Dakota. Those subscriptions helped offset some of the cost, but not enough.

Rather than an immediate layoff, the Capitol Bureau in Pierre will remain open through the end of September.


What else can be said? We had to make some hard decisions about our present, and about our future, and how our staff all fits together.

Ironically, they’re announcing it in an article behind a paywall.

That’s going to make a pretty big dent in South Dakota’s political reporting.

12 Replies to “Aberdeen American News laying off seven employees, including shuttering Pierre Bureau and Bob Mercer”

  1. Lee Schoenbeck

    He and Kranz were the last two, hope Bob can figure out a path here. Nobody watch state government from a critical outside view is a bad deal

  2. Anne Beal

    My understanding is that one of the reasons South Dakota was ranked so high in corruption was the fact the state’s capital city
    doesn’t have a TV station. Mobile units don’t count.
    It seems that events in Pierre are not interesting enough to support a media market, therefore, the state government is assumed to be corrupt. A certain amount of scandal and corruption is necessary to sustain a news organization. So to improve the corruption rating, the state government needs to be mired in just enough sewage to appear squeaky clean.

    Or else the people who come up with these ratings will have to revise their techniques.

    1. Ried Holien

      Anne is correct in her assessment. Bob has provided a valuable service to the people of South Dakota for years, and it’s a shame not enough people support his work. People who keep shouting how corrupt SD is should do themselves, and their neighbors, a great public service and read Bob’s columns. Not only would they then stay more informed, but they’d also help support having a reporter in Pierre.

    2. Anonymous

      Anne, SD is considered corrupt because of the numerous scandals that have resulted in many deaths including an entire family. Still, no laws to allow for monitoring of such malfeasance, nor have any protections been put in place to stop it from happening again. When SD citizens decided to pass laws to do it themselves, our elected officials removed the law entirely while lying about it being unconstitutional even though a judge had never ruled that.

        1. Anonymous

          IM22 was never ruled as being unconstitutional. A judge filed an injunction to delay implementation so that it could be reviewed for such. It never happened because it was removed before it could. In fact, IM22 had a severability clause that stated if parts were unconstitutional, they could be removed while allowing the rest of the law to go in effect. SD legislators removed the entire law before any ruling could be made which went against the will of the people.

  3. Nonymouse

    Good riddance to the fake media and its crooked reporters. The press in South Dakota is failing so badly. Pathetic!

    1. Anonymous

      What is sad is people who sit in Sioux Falls and watch pierre then report with no idea of what’s going on.

  4. Charlie Hoffman

    40 some years ago I remember my father saying that the problem in America is too many people just don’t give a damn. Today he would obviously be saying that the problem in America is too many people just don’t give a damn about the truth, they make their own up. Bob Mercer very well could be South Dakota’s last bastion of unbiased journalism based purely on facts.

  5. Anonymous

    Firing a political reporter during a campaign year…hmmmm

    Well it is not like Democrats have any candidates anyway for or gov, AG, SOS, Treasurer, Auditor, SPL, PUC


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