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Lookout Local, Inc.
Ken Doctor

California United States


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Executive Editor

Job ID: 3354
Job Views: 495
Location: Santa Cruz, California, United States
Postal Code: 95060
Job Category: Online | New Media
Employment Type: Full time
Salary: 120000 per year
Posted: 08.21.2020

Job Description

Reports To: CEO

Location: Santa Cruz, CA


Lookout Local seeks a seasoned and creative digital content leader to head its editorial, content and audience engagement strategy and operations.
The Executive 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.

As a founding member of Lookout’s executive team, the Executive Editor will dedicate their full energy to shaping coverage and community for
Lookout's launch market. In that market, the Executive Editor, in collaboration with the wider team, will model best practices, drawn from the best national and regional publishers and then shape and establish a newsroom model that will scale across a growing network of Lookout sites.

The Executive Editor acts on the powerful Lookout vision of local news renewal and reinvention, and blows fuller life into its daily execution. The
Executive Editor will have a critical seat at the table working with the founding Lookout team to build strategies and tactics that help Lookout thrive and grow.

As Lookout’s initial editorial leader, the position demands someone with equal parts of news leadership abilities and ideals, and of creative innovation, who believes that community-centric local digitally delivered news can do far more for readers, community members and their cities than print ever did.

Editorial excellence, diversity, and imagination are the hallmarks of Lookout, and that’s where the Executive Editor will focus their talents.

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 a leader to help set that new course.

What You’ll Be Doing

Editorial Strategy and Management, Data-Informed Reader-First 
Audience Strategy and Leadership

  • Leads the initial rollout of Lookout’s new local content strategy, including hiring.
  • Drives both mission and engagement, and the application and sharing of timely audience analytics.
  • 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

  • Hires, mentors and manages Lookout’s editorial team, an intensely locally-focused and community-active corps of correspondents.
  • Shapes Lookout’s content strategy, editorial calendar and day-to-day coverage to meet the breadth and depth of local and community coverage.
  • Leads Lookout’s editorial products -- their planning, quality, voice, engagement and maintaining of journalistic 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.
  • Manages and coordinates industry and professional relationships with national content partners, localizing their content to optimize value for readers and for partners. Works collaboratively with the First Amendment Coalition, implementing Access Democracy open meeting/open records/accountability journalism work.
  • Evaluates 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.

Editorial Operations

  • 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.
  • 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 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.

Data-Informed Reader-First Audience Strategy

  • 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.
  • Drives newsroom audience development efforts across both owned channels, including website, social media and SEO best practices, and earned partner/media channels.
  • Drives a robust social media program that engages correspondents and encourages readers to share Lookout content to their networks.

Job Requirements

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.
  • Use of data analytics platforms
  • Bilingual skills a plus

Benefits and Application

Executive 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.

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