Skip to Content

Support MinnPost

Clonts is new Pioneer Press business editor; Iverson was layoff

I wouldn't want to be Chris Clonts' day planner — the Pioneer Press editor is now in charge of online, multimedia and business.

Clonts added business to his portfolio Tuesday in the wake of Doug Iverson's departure. As it turns out, Iverson was laid off, management confirmed to staff yesterday, according to those who were present.

That's extremely sobering news for PiPress fans because in recent months, the paper has been allowed to replace departing staff, after two years of dropping headcounts. On a paper not lavishly staffed, every body matters.

For now, the human sacrifices appear to be limited. The paper has open jobs for editor, St. Paul reporter, state Capitol correspondent and night/weekend web editor, and plans to fill them all. Still, Iverson's layoff is clear indication that ad sales aren't what they should be (something the Star Tribune acknowledged about itself two weeks ago).

Why Iverson? The 19-year PiPress veteran was well liked and respected for blazing fast editing and decision-making skills. However, PiPress management was trapped by a no-layoff guarantee covering union staff through January 2012. Iverson, like other managers, is not in the union.

On most days, business coverage isn't a stand-alone section in the PiPress; though there are still 10 reporters or editors assigned there — likely the second-biggest business staff in town — it is not a central front in the local-news competition with the Star Tribune. On any given story, the PiPress can compete, but it long since gave up the breadth war.

As for Iverson, he still isn't talking, but word is at least one other media outlet is interested in his services. I don't know if they are local, but two operations spring to mind — Dolan Media, which has lacked an overseer for Finance & Commerce and Minnesota Lawyer for several months; and Minnesota Public Radio, where Iverson's former boss Chris Worthington is now the newsroom boss. Hopefully, a talented guy lands on his feet.

Get MinnPost's top stories in your inbox