Managing Editor, Centre Daily Times

Managing Editor, Centre Daily Times

The Centre Daily Times and its parent company, McClatchy, are looking for a smart, ambitious and collaborative managing editor who will ensure that all of our journalism and all of our journalists are laser-focused on serving and growing our digital audience.

This leadership position will require a unique combination of talents. The ideal candidate will have the story-identifying and story-writing skills of a great writer and editor; the reader-engagement skills of a strong social media editor; the statistical knowledge of an analytics expert; and the coaching skills of a great teacher. The managing editor will have the authority to use those talents to shape our journalism from story conception to approach to publication, distribution and promotion in order to maximize its reach and impact.

The successful candidate will guide reporters, videographers and editors throughout the editorial process, using a deep understanding of analytics and reader behavior to help determine whether there is an audience for an initial story idea; whether it is possible to broaden that audience and how; what form of storytelling — text, video, slideshow, podcast, etc. — would be most likely to succeed in reaching the target audience; how the piece itself should be shaped to speak successfully to that audience; how the headline and social media share text should be written; what keywords will maximize search; what distribution platforms to use; whether and how to tweak posted content to maximize readership; and whether and how to move the story forward after that.

Initially, the managing editor will need to do much of this work in a direct and hands-on way as she or he teaches reporters to put audience first in their approach to reporting and writing. In the course of this work, the managing editor will ensure that his or her colleagues understand not just the methods being used but the purpose behind them so that the focus on digital audience becomes intuitive for them as well.

The managing editor will work closely with the executive editor, guide the work of every journalist in the newsroom and act as the primary social media editor.

Core competencies:

  • The ability to lead, direct, collaborate with and coach colleagues throughout the newsroom.
  • Strong editing and/or writing skills and excellent news judgment.
  • An interest in the science of readership and engagement, and a zeal for understanding and using readership data to inform the editorial process.
  • An interest in telling stories using a variety of media, and an enthusiasm for learning new skills and technologies.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy (toward readers and staff) and a superior ear for tone.
  • Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced, constantly evolving, and more outcome-oriented than task-oriented.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to plan ahead for advance and special sections.

Requirements:

  • A deep understanding of both the art and the science of audience engagement, including:
    • Fluency with analytics and how to apply them.
    • A way with headlines and an understanding of what works well on different platforms.
    • Good working knowledge of SEO practices.
    • A proven record of driving readership through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
    • Experience promoting content through major aggregators.
    • An understanding of the psychology of online readers, and of the motivations and interests of a broad range of potential audiences. The ability to empathize with readers who will encounter our work under a range of different circumstances.
  • Skill and versatility as an editor and a writer, including the ability to shape everything from breaking news briefs to long-form magazine-style pieces in a way
    that best serves and engages the broadest possible audience.
  • Excellent news judgment, and a demonstrated ability to see the story that is going to matter to readers and to anticipate reader interests.
  • Excellent journalism ethics.
  • The proven ability to lead, inspire, and convey knowledge to others, and to work effectively with a wide range of colleagues in managing change.
  • An interest in and aptitude for storytelling using a broad range of media, including the written word, video, photography, podcasts and other audio, and whatever comes next.
  • The ability to solve problems, innovate and adapt in service of the primary goal, which is to produce journalism that reaches and influences an audience of significant size.

To apply please email your resume to Jessica McAllister, jmcallister@centredaily.com, Executive Editor at the Center Daily Times.