David Yepsen is leaving the Des Moines Register. Officially. Dave will take over the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University University at Carbondale (I went to SIUC’s sister school in Edwardsville). He has worked for the paper since 1974 and has covered every Iowa caucus since 1976. It’s tough to replace that institutional knowledge. Dave is one of the few journalists in this area who truly “gets” the media, whether it be radio, tv, newspaper or internet (I think Radio Iowa’s Kay Henderson is the other).
I’ll be very curious what the Register does now. Its parent company, Gannett, has been slashing jobs left and right. (Ironically, on the day Dave was officially introduced at his new job in Carbondale, he was in the middle of his company-mandated unpaid furlough to save a few more bucks for Gannett.)
Dave wasn’t just locally well-known, he’s a fixture on the national scene, as well, when it comes to Iowa politics. Will the Register replace him? Will someone else already on staff just pick up his duties? It will be an interesting money decision for the paper at a time when money is such a factor (that should be factor with a capitol “F“) in the industry.