NPR and its member stations have created an innovative new system of regional news hubs designed to reshape the journalism landscape -- and the prototype for the nation is in Texas.
To lead the next stage of this effort, we are looking for an executive-level journalist, as comfortable with leadership by persuasion and collaboration as with producing high-quality journalism. This dynamic leader will champion linking and expanding local, regional and national news efforts on radio and digital platforms. The Statewide Managing Editor will be employed by KERA, lead station for The Texas Newsroom – a collaboration between the Texas stations and the network. The other managing stations are KUT in Austin, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio. This position can be based anywhere in Texas.
Texas is a great state for journalism. It is a huge, multi-culture, multi-ethnic expanse of land and people, with as many distinct identities and regions as most countries. As a border state, one of the fastest growing states in the country, and the second largest economy in the United States, what happens in Texas is often national – and sometimes international – news. Being a statewide journalist in Texas means being able to move from topic to topic rapidly, and to be comfortable with the constantly shifting ground of changing norms.
The Managing Editor serves as the top editor for The Texas Newsroom and manages day-to day operations in collaboration with station newsrooms, leading a regional staff, and directing the statewide newsroom in all capacities with guidance of the TTN Executive Team. While station newsroom managers have direct oversight of station employees and daily coverage, station newsrooms and TTN work in a cooperative spirit to produce increased regional coverage, curate content from around the state, and develop journalists.
The Managing Editor will work collaboratively with Texas Newsroom partner stations to coordinate resources needed for major breaking news and for stories developed and managed by TTN. This editor will ensure high editorial and ethical standards for content produced through The Texas Newsroom.
The Managing Editor is the principal contact for station news leaders and for NPR, and will develop daily, weekly and long-term communication structures. The Managing Editor will work with NPR to ensure The Texas Newsroom is part of the network’s editorial planning and connected to appropriate NPR staff.
● Develop the editorial vision for The Texas Newsroom in conjunction with the TTN Executive Committee. That includes breaking news coverage, digital and enterprise journalism, podcasts, projects, feature stories and statewide newscasts. Partner with stations and NPR to articulate the goals and desired outcomes.
● Hold primary responsibility for communication and planning. Serve as the central point of contact for editorial leaders at the stations and NPR. Ensure that communication occurs in a 360-degree view, so that everyone’s clear on station, TTN and NPR priorities. Ability to collaborate and communicate remotely is a must. Resolve conflicts with focus on audience needs.
● Oversee development and expansion of regional products and distribution methods to reach new, younger and more diverse audiences.
● Supervise all Texas Newsroom staff. Direct daily work, assigning tasks and deploying staff as necessary. Coach staff in developing professional skills and create long-term improvement plans. Write performance evaluations. Lead and inspire.
● Integrate metrics into all Texas Newsroom activities and develop and share best practices with other emerging regional newsrooms in NPR’s collaborative journalism project.
● Create, update and ensure use of a breaking news response plan for stories of statewide and national interest. Assist stations in developing local breaking news plans that dovetail with the statewide plan.
● Establish strong working relationships with news leaders and editors at the four managing stations, with the NPR editor assigned to The Texas Newsroom, with other stations around the state and with other regional newsrooms across the country.
● Oversee story planning for the short-term (daily news), middle-term (features) and long-term (projects) on radio and digital platforms. Ensure that processes are inclusive, desired outcomes are broadly shared and deadlines are communicated and met.
● Define best practices for production of on-air and digital content, with an audience-first mindset. Provide regular feedback on story execution, identifying strengths and areas for improvement.
● Strengthen digital journalism capacity, defining digital responsibilities for each member of the Texas Newsroom staff and integrating digital production into the daily workflow. Build visual storytelling capacity.
● Perform hands-on editing as needed. Edit/review controversial or sensitive content. Edit/review enterprise and investigative stories.
● Conduct regular station visits (in person or virtually) and schedule station visits for other Texas Newsroom staff members. Identify training opportunities for local reporters and lead planning and execution.
● Develop, in concert with NPR and stations, an ongoing statewide training program.
● Strong leadership skills as demonstrated by a track record of success in supervisory and/or management position.
● Strategic thinker with project-management experience.
● Record of excellent communication in person and in remote situations.
● Proven journalism skills that include reporting, producing, editing.
● Understanding of both on-air and digital journalism production; experience in both platforms preferred.
● Dedication to diversity in sourcing, topics, recruiting and approaches is a must.
● Maintain editorial standards of accuracy, thoroughness, ethics, balance and diversity.
● Report from and work in the field as assigned.
● Ability to exercise sound news judgment and generate factual, error-free online copy quickly in breaking news situations.
● Strong content editing/proofreading abilities, including knowledge of AP style.
● Strategic thinker, with the ability to work with others to put together detailed, easy-to-understand plans.
● Passionate and enthusiastic about online journalism and local news opportunities in Texas.
● Demonstrated career vision and activation toward diversity, equity and inclusion.
● Ability to travel statewide for assignments/activities that involve work outside of the office.
● Education: Bachelor’s Degree in journalism or related field or equivalent required; media or journalism degree preferred.
● Experience leading collaborative organizations.
● Experience working in public media.
● Experience developing new products.
● Fluent in multiple languages. Spanish-language skills are a plus.
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