Dave Pyle, who leads the Associated Press’s Minnesota/Wisconsin bureau, will leave his position Jan. 31.
In a staff memo (below), Pyle writes that AP is reconfiguring the Minneapolis-based bureau, which will now cover the Dakotas and Nebraska instead of the Dairy State. “I’ve elected to not to apply for the position,” he notes.
Sounding wistful, Pyle, who’s been bureau chief for 21 years, told me, “The AP and serving AP members is thoroughly tangled in my DNA so no doubt it’s going to take some time to stand down when an election or big news breaks around me. Sort of like the old firehouse Dalmatian.”
Like many news outlets, AP has had its funding issues in recent years, having cut prices to retain some of its newspaper members. One interesting thing about this reconfiguration: It comes in the wake of Fargo-based Forum Communications annoucing a news service primarily covering the Dakotas and Minnesota.
Under Pyle, the local AP has assembled a number of strong bylines; word is there will be no changes in the reporting corps. For those concerned about western Wisconsin, the Dairy State will be covered by the Indiana/Illinois bureau, though both that bureau and Minneapolis will report to AP’s Chicago-based regoinal office.
Here’s Pyle’s good-bye:
Dear Minnesota AP Members:
I apologize for not being able to deliver this communication to each of you in person, but I have told the Minnesota staff about this news and wanted to let you hear from me before word spreads through the inevitable leaks. You can’t keep news from good news people and our state is replete with them.
January 31st will be my last day with the AP. The Minneapolis bureau chief territory has been restructured as a part of some reorganizing in the AP, and I’ve elected to not to apply for the position. A new chief for the new territory — Minnesota, the Dakotas and Nebraska — will be named very soon.
It has been a pleasure to be the Minnesota AP bureau chief for the past 21 years of my nearly 33 years with the AP. I am grateful for the talent and cooperative nature of the AP-member newspapers and I consider it a privilege to have worked with so many of you — some for all of those 21 years. I wish all of you and your newspapers the best as we all continue to navigate the brisk rate of change in our industry.
I plan to attend the Minnesota Newspaper Association convention next Wednesday and Thursday and hope to see those of you who may be there as well.