In a lengthy post on Facebook, the now-former director of The RAGBRAI announced that he and all his staff have resigned as a direct result of the Des Moines Register's handling of the Carson King controversy.
TJ Juskiewicz starts the post by saying:
This is a bittersweet day for me and my team. Today, your RAGBRAI Director for the past 16 years and the entire RAGBRAI staff has resigned.
RAGBRAI’s parent companies (Des Moines Register & Gannett/USA Today) claim “we will uphold First Amendment principles”, but they refused to offer me that same opportunity to openly speak to the RAGBRAI Nation and answer the hundreds of passionate questions asked about the future of RAGBRAI following the Des Moines Register’s handling of the Carson King story. In these past few weeks, my efforts to communicate with our loyal riders has been consistently blocked as it did not mesh with the company’s PR narrative to spin the Carson King embarrassment.
In the post, Juskiewicz says a New York-based PR team and the Register were not allowing him to be transparent or address the questions and concerns he was being faced with.
I immediately wanted to make a statement letting the RAGBRAI faithful know that the Des Moines Register does not speak for RAGBRAI. I was told I had to run everything through a New York PR Firm that was brought in to help manage the exploding crisis.
For the first time in 16 years, the RAGBRAI director and staff was no longer calling the shots. Senior leadership and a PR team would approve public statements.
Juskiewicz also says he and his staff have started a new race called Iowa's Ride.