Full Time - Upper Management Level (Managing Editor, General Manager, Manager, Director)
4 Year Degree
Reports To: Executive Editor
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Lookout Local seeks an experienced and creative digital content leader to help lead its editorial, content and audience engagement strategy and operations.
The Managing Editor will have a passion for local news and community journalism and a track record leading coverage that builds audiences and drives engagement across all digital devices and products. The ideal candidate will possess superior editorial judgment, excellent communication and team-leading skills, an understanding of fundamental editorial business practices of digital news, and an entrepreneurial mindset.
The Managing Editor will dedicate their full energy to shaping the daily and through-the-week coverage for Lookout's launch market. In that market, the Managing Editor, in collaboration with the Executive Editor wider reporting team, will focus on editing, coaching, coverage priorities and text/visuals storytelling.
As a key member of Lookout’s founding team, the managing editor makes sure Lookout's editorial product meets its commitment to its diverse communities. Understanding of and enthusiasm for working in a diverse county waiting to have its stories told is a must.
Importantly, Lookout will center its coverage in and around its corps of full- time, topically knowledgeable correspondents. Individually and collectively, they form the most prominent face of Lookout. They bring the community the knowledgeable, trustworthy coverage it wants, interacting deeply with readers. We need editorial leaders ready, able and eager to set that new course.
What You’ll Be Doing
Editorial Strategy and Management, Data-Informed Reader-First Audience Strategy and Leadership
Help lead the initial rollout of Lookout’s new local content strategy, including hiring.
Drives the daily application of our mission and engagement with on-the-ground reporting and modern storytellling.
Applies and shares timely audience analytics, and its takeaways.
Relishes role as leader within Lookout, the local community and the wider regional and national news communities.
Focus in Three Key Areas
Strategy and Leadership
Helps hire, mentor and manage Lookout’s editorial team, an intensely locally focused and community-active corps of correspondents.
Together with Executive Editor, shapes Lookout’s content strategy, editorial calendar and day-to-day coverage to meet the breadth and depth of local and community coverage.
Makes sure Lookout’s editorial products -- their planning, quality, voice and engagement -- meet our standards.
Demonstrates a commitment to engagement with audiences and communities, legacy and underserved, online and IRL, bringing them into wider conversations on community problem-solving.
Works collaboratively with content partnerships and third party tools to be implemented across Lookout newsrooms, relishing the opportunity to begin building on a powerful digital platform local storytelling, text, audio and video in all their evolving digital forms.
Works with product and technology partners to identify and define production and feature enhancements that enhance story-telling techniques and improve reader engagement.
Communicates Lookout’s story and mission internally, and externally to evolving partners, both local and national.
Demonstrates adaptability and innovation, able to apply industry best-practice reporting and writing to the needs of community journalism. Rock-solid journalism judgment, intuition and taste, with editing experience ranging from accountability journalism to features work.
Makes and manages daily assignments, team meetings, calendar and all planning, ensuring timely, accurate and authoritative coverage and community engagement.
Drives content towards reader, and member, check-in behavior, with one emphasis on “smart brevity” journalism. Keeps Lookout content fresh and dynamic, adjusting coverage to the topics we learn readers most want.
Optimizes reader/correspondent interaction through rigorous, metrics-driven testing and learning.
Along with Executive Editor, crafts and evolves, through rigorous data-driven testing, a must-read editorial newsletter program that drives engagement, repeat visits and new member sign-ups.
Makes highly reader-useful guides, in diverse topical areas, a cornerstone of Lookout.
Works with colleagues in revenue, product and production to improve editorial processes, reduce production time and achieve efficiencies in meeting the demands of timely content authoring, production and presentation in a fast-paced news environment.
Is hands-on in the CMS and familiar with the tools and workflow that drive the editorial production and presentation. Acts as a final editor on articles.
Manages content flow with content partners (national and local) who may provide video or audio, or links to them, for Lookout.
Leads creation of Lookout style and ethics guidelines.
Data-Informed, Reader-First Audience Strategy
With Executive Editor, drives data-driven site programming decisions and best practices for content page placement, style, and packaging. Continuously tests and refines Lookouts programming approach to optimize reader engagement, drive repeat visits and long-term membership-driven revenue.
Champions a responsible, data-focused newsroom culture that learns and makes smart choices to deepen reader engagement and deliver new views.
Helps drive newsroom audience development efforts across both owned channels, including website, social media and SEO best practices, and earned partner/media channels.
Helps drive a robust social media program that engages correspondents and encourages readers to share Lookout content to their networks.
Your Experience & Skills
Proven group leadership experience, with a commitment to the values of building and growing a diverse staff
Superior organizational abilities, with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Rock-solid journalism judgment, intuition and taste, with editing experience ranging from accountability to features work.
Editing and packaging of stories, experienced in working within CMS.
Creativity and vision in shaping and producing a wide range of story formats and presentation styles across digital platforms, and crafting copy from “smart brevity” to longer- form investigations.
Familiarity with basic web applications and multimedia types (photo, video, audio).
Experience using data and analytics to inform content decisions.
A strong sense of social media’s multiplying power and how it can best be used for a local news and commerce model.
Project management and scheduling, workflow and production calendar management.
Bilingual skills a plus.
Benefits and Application
Managing Editor is a full-time Lookout Local employee. We offer competitive employee benefits.
Lookout Local is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.
Job Type: Full-time
Additional Salary Information: $80,000-$90,000
About Lookout Local, Inc.
About Lookout Local
Lookout Local is a new network of intensely local, community-centric, digital-only, mobile-first news sites, built for the way citizens and consumers read, act, and interact, in the 2020s. Dedicated to community betterment, Lookout Santa Cruz launches this fall.
Lookout is headed by news analyst and veteran Ken Doctor, who follows the industry through his Newsonomics column at the Nieman Journalism Lab, and Jed Williams, a veteran digital revenue strategist.
We seek colleagues to form our initial, diverse team of 15. We’re looking for those who share our sense of mission, our can-do, entrepreneurial spirit, and our hard-headed realism that smart execution will quickly create a new, much-needed model for local news and community revival. Lookout Local’s for-profit, public benefit corporation is built to last, providing the foundation for multi-site network growth.