Argus Leader
The October 22, 2012 front page of the
Argus Leader, after the death of George McGovern
TypeDaily newspaper
Founded1881 (as the Sioux Falls Argus)
Headquarters200 S. Minnesota Avenue
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104
Circulation26,720 Daily
44,550 Sunday (as of 2015)[1]

The Argus Leader is the daily newspaper of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is the largest newspaper by total circulation in South Dakota.[2][3]

It is owned by Gannett and part of the USA Today Network.[citation needed]


The Argus Leader traces its history back to 1881 when the weekly Sioux Falls Argus began publication. The Argus-Leader (then hyphenated) was the result of the Sioux Falls Argus' merger with the Sioux Falls Leader in 1887.[4]

The paper was aligned with the Democratic Party until the 1896 election when it switched to the Republican Party and was notably supportive of William McKinley.[4][5] (It is no longer aligned with any political party.)

Speidel newspapers bought the Argus Leader in 1963.

In 1977, Gannet purchased Speidel creating one of the largest holding companies of newspapers with 73 papers.[6] It was the second-largest newspaper purchase in U.S. history at the time.[7]

In 2021, the paper made the decision to shut down its print production plant in Sioux Falls and consolidate those operations with other Gannett-owned newspapers in Des Moines, Iowa.[8] This announcement led to speculation that the Argus Leader building itself may be for sale.[9] The following year, the Argus Leader building was sold.[10] At the time, the newspaper had an agreement which could be extended to continue occupying part of the building.[10]

In November 2023, the newspaper announced it was moving its newsroom at 200 S. Minnesota Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls after nearly 70 years occupying the same space. The team of seven to 10 reporters will join the rest of its distribution team at 710 N. Western Avenue.[11]


The Argus Leader is South Dakota's largest newspaper in total circulation as of 2023.[2] The weekday circulation for the newspaper was 23,721 as of October 2017.[12] The Sunday edition has a circulation of 32,981 as of October 2017.

Its website boasts the most traffic and unique visitors in its market, according to Comscore data.[13] The company claimed to have over 786,000 unique users visit the site every month in 2018.[14]

The newspaper publishes an economic weekly, the Sioux Falls Business Journal, as part of its Sunday publication.

The company estimates that it informs and engages 75% of adults in Sioux Falls MSA in a typical week and 84% over a month across its print and digital brands.[15]

Notable Reporting

In 2011, the newspaper sought information about the federal food stamps program through a Freedom of Information Act request.[16] The request was denied, and eight years later, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government by a 6–3 decision.[17]

The newspaper reported that the FBI had 'mined secrets about the past' of 1972 presidential candidate George McGovern in more than 1,400 files requested by a Freedom of Information Act.[18]

See also


  1. ^ "2015 South Dakota Newspaper Directory". South Dakota Newspaper Association. 2014-12-16. Archived from the original on 2023-03-03. Retrieved 2023-05-20.
  2. ^ a b "While the world of agriculture was crumbling, Mikkel Pates found love". Agweek. 2023-02-07. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  3. ^ "Argus Leader lands 8 awards in 2022 Better Newspaper Contest". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  4. ^ a b Wishart, David (ed.). "Argus Leader (Sioux Falls)". Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
  5. ^ Simundson, Daniel (1972). The Yellow Press on the Prairie: South Dakota Daily Newspaper Editorials Prior to the Spanish-American War (PDF). South Dakota Historical Society.
  6. ^ "Speidel Newspapers Agrees in Principle to Join With Gannett in a $173 Million Deal". The New York Times. 1976-12-21. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  7. ^ Jones, William H.; Anderson, Laird (1977-07-30). "Gannett: 73 Papers and Still Counting". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  8. ^ "Argus Leader closing Sioux Falls printing plant". Dakota News Now. 2021-11-01. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  9. ^ "Another hard change comes to the state's largest newspaper". South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  10. ^ a b Schwan, Jodi (2022-05-19). "Local investor buys Argus Leader building with plans to revitalize it". SiouxFalls.Business. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  11. ^ Conlon, Shelly (2023-11-03). "Argus Leader moving from historic location in downtown Sioux Falls to northwest side". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2023-11-04.
  12. ^ "South Dakota Newspapers". South Dakota Newspapers. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  13. ^ "comScore helps clients measure what matters to make cross-platform audiences and advertising more valuable". comScore, Inc. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  14. ^ Myers, Cory. "Myers: Readership growth, additions to digital news and changes in print". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2023-10-20.
  15. ^ "About the Argus Leader". Argus Leader Media. Gannett.
  16. ^ "After 8 years of legal battles, quest for food stamp data lands at Supreme Court". USA Today. April 20, 2019. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  17. ^ "Supreme Court limits access to government records in loss for Argus Leader, part of the USA TODAY Network". June 24, 2019. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  18. ^ "FBI mined secrets from George McGovern's past". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2023-08-10.