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Lead sports designer/planner based in Charlotte

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by Mike_Persinger, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Now that we have a clear picture of who will join the unified Charlotte/Raleigh/Rock Hill design and copy editing center in Charlotte and are starting to fill open positions, we see some specific needs, including a need for a lead sports designer and planner. Here's the job posting for that opening, with an e-mail address for resumes. I'm happy to answer questions about this opening and others on the combined desk, but as it it separate from the Observer's newsroom I'm not the direct hiring manager. My e-mail is mpersinger@charlotteobserver.com, and that's a faster way to get me than through SportsJournalists.com.

    The original posting for these jobs, and there are a good number of them still open in sports, news and features, is here:



    The new posting:

    We have an immediate opening for a lead sports designer who will also play a lead role in planning special sports pages and packages for a new consolidated desk in Charlotte that serves the Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer and Rock Hill Herald.
    We're looking for someone who has a creative design vision and who can plan and execute high-impact packages around big moments and strong journalism. We want someone who will collaborate and inspire. Salary in the mid-40's.
    We're in a great N.C. city (2 hours from the mountains, 3 1/2 hours from the beach) with great weather and great sports teams to design for (Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, Carolina Hurricanes, heart of NASCAR, plus great colleges). Please send a resume, work samples and a cover letter to obsjobs@gmail.com
  2. 1HPGrad

    1HPGrad Member

    Gotta think that last graph would have been reversed and reduced if they truly had Raleigh in mind. "Plus great colleges" is the last thing you mention?
    Holy Dean Smith. ACC basketball is all the Triangle thinks about. N&O readers could not care less about Charlotte's pro teams, and every sentence wasted on them is a sham and a shame.
    Mike's a good guy battling a tough deal (intentional NASCAR reference), but he illustrated why these separate market merges don't work.
  3. UNCGrad

    UNCGrad Member

    As good as The Fayetteville Obsever's lead ACC writers/reporters are (Wiederer, Batten), it is in a great position to really take the lead here. I agree with 1HP. This is a situation that bears watching closely.
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    All about consolidation and the bottom line. Check out the Tribune thread and what's going on there with those papers. Disgraceful. And, no, it doesn't work.
  5. I don't intend with this post to minimize the challenges (and we could all recite them, so I won't), but there are a couple of things to note here:

    -- Because we've been working with the sports editors in Raleigh for going on five years now, and because senior sports editor Gary Schwab has authority over both sections, I think we're in better position to make this work. The ACC is a big deal in Raleigh, sure, but it's a big deal in Charlotte, too. The Hurricanes are bigger in Raleigh than in Charlotte. The Bobcats, Panthers and NASCAR are bigger in Charlotte than Raleigh. We all understand that, and it isn't our intention to make the sections the same, just to share where we can.

    -- The goal with these hires isn't consolidation, because the number of openings matches the number of people in Raleigh who chose not to come to Charlotte plus the number in Charlotte who took buyouts, which they were offered because the work situation was changing. The pay won't match, I grant you that. We're not the first company who has used this as part of a survival strategy, and we won't be the last. Lots of people who are working to make this work in Charlotte better than it has elsewhere.

    -- The writing staff wasn't affected. They're all staying.

    If anybody has suggestions that aren't "don't do it," I'd love to hear them, here or in an e-mail. Surely some things work better than others. Tips from those in similar situations?
  6. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Member

    So the cost savings are strictly in lower salaries? I wouldn't minimize that, of course. But I have to believe that some jobs were or will be eliminated in the name of efficiency. Otherwise, is it worth doing?
  7. BurgersForBreakfast

    BurgersForBreakfast New Member

    good luck, mike. i'll be pulling for ya to do something terrific with a new model. looking ahead, not back.
  8. Fran,
    I can't tell you what will happen in the future. I just know what the situation is now, that we're working quickly to hire people for these jobs. I wish more of the Raleigh people had been in the position to make the move, but each situation is different, and I respect their decisions.
    I have to think there will be savings eventually, perhaps in the form of more workers per manager, etc., but I'm not privy to any long-term plans.
    I have a vested interest in making this work for Charlotte and Raleigh, an interest in helping get it done right, and a stake in the survival of the company. I am fortunate to have a voice in what happens with this. But the decision has been made, and that's not going to change.
    If it has to be done, there are people in Charlotte and coming from Raleigh who will work hard to succeed where others have struggled. The markets are different, but not in different regions, so that will help. But there are lots of challenges.
    We need some people to join the holdovers who look at this as an opportunity to build a model that works, and to be a part of the construction.
    There is one shot at a startup. This is it for us.
  9. Fran Curci

    Fran Curci Member

    Mike: No one can fault your approach in a difficult situation.
  10. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member


    Any idea as to how many people they expect to hire? Also, will people work strictly in sports or across different sections?
  11. Sports is going first so we can be as ready as possible for football. The people putting the desk together recognize the need for sports specialists and all the folks I have talked to so far except one would be sports specialists. Not to say they would never help out on news in a pinch, but we see the need for specialization. There are 24 jobs open, over news, sports and features, although I know at least a couple have been offered and accepted. We are a CCI pagination operation.
  12. bcsrtull

    bcsrtull New Member

    Mid 40s....really? Seems like a lot of responsbility for that low salary
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