Minneapolis Photographer Opens Up About Getting Fired During a Pandemic

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel 

A Twin Cities videographer is opening up about getting fired in the middle of a pandemic—and how his co-workers stepped up to help.

KARE videographer Ben Gavin was let go from his job in Minneapolis, Minn. while working from home for the past nine months, according to his story on Facebook.

Like most parents, I’ve been working to juggle my kids’ distance learning and trying to work from home, editing deadline stories for KARE11 for the last 9 months. As part of that I was asked to keep a company car at my home in south Minneapolis. And, in a scatterbrained moment a few weeks ago, I left the vehicle unlocked overnight, likely with the keys in the trunk. Luckily, there was no camera gear inside besides some lights and tripods.


The car was stolen and I was fired the next day. A shock! And no doubt, a bummer way to end my five years at KARE11 (the car has since been recovered). And obviously not the best time to lose a job, in a pandemic and right before Christmas and all. In fairness, I had been written up twice previously for what I feel are more minor issues related to equipment and a social media post. I’m an open book, message me if you want all the details.

After his firing, Gavin’s coworkers pitched in to help him land on his feet.

“Shortly after word of my departure spread, a group of folks in the newsroom and beyond, led by one of my favorite persons Jana Shortal, pitched in and sent me a generous life raft donation. It meant a great deal and reminded me that people can be so good,” Garvin wrote, adding that his reporter partner, Lindsey Seavert, also helped him out.

“The day I was let go, Lindsey Seavert and her family sent us over dinner and some delicious beer and wine. So nice! Lindsey and I met at KARE and she has made me better ever since—a better photographer, a better collaborator, a better friend.”

Gavin continued to say him, his wife and four kids will be OK. They have a savings and he will start shooting weddings.

KARE’s news director told TVSpy that the station does not comment on personnel issues.

You can read the full post here.