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Bismarck Tribune publisher's name scrubbed from newspaper, prompting speculation

For the first time this year, Gary Adkisson's name did not appear in its usual spot as a member of the Tribune's editorial board in the Friday, April 29, edition of the outlet's print or digital newspaper.

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Gary Adkisson's name was removed from the Bismarck Tribune's editorial board without explanation in the Friday, April 29, edition of the newspaper, prompting speculation that the publisher was laid off by the publication's parent company, Lee Enterprises.
Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
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BISMARCK — The name of The Bismarck Tribune's publisher has been removed from the newspaper's masthead without explanation, prompting speculation that he was laid off by the publication's parent company, Lee Enterprises.

For the first time this year, Gary Adkisson's name did not appear in its usual spot as a member of the Tribune's editorial board in the Friday, April 29, edition of the outlet's print or digital newspaper.

Tribune editor-in-chief Amy Dalrymple declined to comment and referred Forum News Service to Ben Rogers, the president of the Lee-owned Rapid City Media Group. Rogers also declined to comment and told a Forum News Service reporter he would refer the inquiry about Adkisson higher up the Lee corporate ladder. Forum News Service received no response from the Iowa-based company as of Friday afternoon.

A phone call to a number listed for Adkisson on the Tribune's website went to voicemail and was not returned.

Lee, which owns more than 75 daily newspapers across the country, has recently laid off top staffers at several of its most prominent publications, including The Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald and The Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch, according to a March report by Axios.

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The Bettendorf, Iowa-based Quad-Cities Regional Business Journal reported Friday that Lee laid off two longtime staffers at The Quad-City Times this week.

The cutbacks come several months after Lee fended off a hostile takeover attempt by Alden Global Capital, a New York hedge fund known for slashing newsroom staff to maximize profits.

Adkisson was hired to serve as the Tribune's publisher in 2017, according to an article announcing his hiring. Prior to arriving in Bismarck, Adkisson worked as a publisher for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Texas.

Publishers are generally responsible for overseeing the business and news operations of newspapers, but the specific role of the publisher can vary by publication.

Despite the possible loss of Adkisson, the Tribune currently has two job postings online for reporting positions.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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