Welcome to our new editor, Carrie McDermott

Carrie McDermott comes to Prairie Business after working at the Daily News in Wahpeton, North Dakota, since 2011.

Korrie Wenzel

There’s a serious labor shortage in the upper Midwest. Over the past two years, Prairie Business and the publications in Forum Communications Co. – including our sister publication, the Grand Forks Herald – have written a number of articles outlining the staffing difficulties facing many businesses in this part of the world.

At the onset, it generally wasn’t a problem for Prairie Business and the Herald. We were fully staffed and able to fill positions when they came open.

Last year, our own troubles began. Openings in our newsrooms and advertising departments went unfilled for months.

Then, in November, Prairie Business’ editor position came open when our previous editor, Andrew Weeks, left to take a job in the Mountain West, closer to his family interests.

A decade ago, we’d easily receive two dozen applicants for openings, but these days, that’s not the case.


Uneasiness settled in. And after a couple of months, fear. How long would that editor position remain open? Herald Managing Editor Sydney Mook more than capably filled in as interim editor for Prairie Business, but has been pulling double duty over these past few months. Certainly, that couldn’t last.

But good news: The search has concluded. By the time readers see this, our new editor will be on board.

Carrie McDermott comes to Prairie Business after working at the Daily News in Wahpeton, North Dakota, since 2011. She was promoted to assistant editor of the Daily News in 2013 and managing editor in 2018. In that position, she oversaw not only the Daily News, but also the weekly News Monitor and – importantly to us – the company’s magazines.

“This opportunity is a good fit for my background of more than three decades in journalism as well as leading multiple lifestyle, home, business-to-business and community-based magazines over my career,” McDermott said of joining Prairie Business. “I will hit the ground running, getting out into our communities to meet the movers and shakers who are making positive impacts for those who live and work in the northern plains region. I intend to continue the high standard of business industry news and trend coverage that Prairie Business is known for.”

So Prairie Business is back to being fully staffed and it feels a bit like gloating to be so happy about it. So many other businesses aren’t so lucky, and we’re sympathetic.

Consider this: As of late December, there were 4,300 job openings in North Dakota’s health care field, according to the Grand Forks Herald. In a February op-ed sent to the state’s newspapers, Gov. Doug Burgum said there were more than 30,000 job openings overall in North Dakota, where the unemployment rate is around 2.3%.

It really is unnerving, since openings mean fewer people to build things, to take care of others, to staff the hospitality industry and to do all of the other kinds of business that makes the economy churn forward in the Dakotas and Minnesota.

We’re fortunate here at Prairie Business to have McDermott and to be fully staffed. It sure beats the feeling of uneasiness we felt just a couple of months ago, and which others are probably feeling as the region’s labor shortage continues.


You can contact Carrie McDermott at or at 701-780-1276.

Korrie Wenzel has been publisher of Prairie Business and the Grand Forks Herald since 2014. Prior to that, he spent 23 years at The Daily Republic in Mitchell, S.D. 

Korrie Wenzel has been publisher of the Grand Forks Herald and Prairie Business Magazine since 2014.

Over time, he has been a board member of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., Junior Achievement, the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, United Way, Empire Arts Center, Cornerstones Career Learning Center and Crimestoppers.

As publisher, Wenzel oversees news, advertising and business operations at the Herald, as well as the newspaper's opinion content.

In the past, Wenzel was sports editor for 14 years at The Daily Republic of Mitchell, S.D., before becoming editor and, eventually, publisher.

Wenzel can be reached at 701-780-1103.
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