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Preps Editor -- Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by dkphxf, May 11, 2011.

  1. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    A former AD at Pitt always said that Pittsburgh was the only city he knew that had a front door, referring to coming out of the tunnel on the way into the city.

    It's a great place to live. Relatively easy to get around. PNC Park and Heinz Field are walking distance from the Trib's office, too. Darn. This thread is going to make me homesick.

    Also, the Trib puts a high priority on high school sports, so that is a plus for this job.
  2. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    There are some metro areas where there generally isn't much of a passion or following for high school sports. But Pittsburgh is definitely not one of those places. It's not a transient area, full of people who moved there from elsewhere. It's full of life-long Pittsburghers, and as such there are a lot of people who still care about how their old high school is doing. Outofplace is correct ... if you're going to be on preps, this is a good place to do it.
  3. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    OK, I'm prefacing this by saying I've never been to Pittsburgh. But, from a well-placed source:

    * It's not five daily editions, it's actually five separate publications -- the Pittsburgh Trib and a handful of suburban newspapers. You're as likely to be lining up Little League coverage and community sports as you are high schools.

    * Circulation for the Trib is not 200,000. According to my source, the Trib circulation is around 90,000; they get 200,000 by combining the Trib's numbers with the suburban papers' numbers.

    * Much of the upper management, including the top sports editor, came over from one of the suburban papers, the Valley News Dispatch in Tarentum, and most of them still live in that paper's circulation zone. Accordingly, the top preps priority is schools within that zone, even more so than for the Trib.

    * They're behind the curve on technology. Once a writer/editor closes out a story, they can't get back in. Editing is done on proofs. Writers can't post to the web; it has to go to a multimedia person first.

    * Pay is not great (but where ISN'T that the case?). Like 30-35K for full-time reporters, give or take.

    * The person there was allegedly promised a decent raise after six months and it never materialized. It wasn't a performance issue. The person had yet to sell his house in his hometown (his wife hadn't moved up yet) and when that didn't happen, that drove him to go back home.

    * If you're interested in the job, go in with eyes open and talk to some of the staffers you'll be managing to get their perspective. This isn't the job the listing claims it is.
  4. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Some of this is dead on, especially the relatively low pay scale for a paper of its size and the games they play with the circulation.

    That said, my understanding is that they coordinate coverage among all of the papers.

    The part about a slant to the Valley News Dispatch area is a bit unfair. I don't think it is focusing too much on the area so much as it is having sources out there as well as the VND still feeding them copy. To say that is their priority, however, is not accurate.

    The SE, Kevin Smith, is from the VND's territory, but I'm not sure who else in management is from there. I believe the other upper management person your source was referring to was Bob Fryer, who recently passed away.

    That last part is good advice when looking into any job.
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Can't speak to all what was posted because I never worked there. But the salary range discussed when I interviewed was extremely good.
  6. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    I don't know about the salary for this particular job, but I do know writers and copy editors at the trib and the range IJAG posted for a full-time reporter isn't far off.
  7. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    From my understanding, Moddy, the Trib has a history of paying editors and management well but not its reporters and lower level staffers. Some major reporters/columnists make reasonable salaries, but others do not.

    But like any publication, salary is often tied to the person's experience and perceived worth.

    If I was an editor, I'd be all over this. Pittsburgh area preps are among the best, especially in football. You're guaranteed to have the lure of D-I prospects and coaches every year, you get enough of those prospects every year in hoops to whet the appetite, and a few of the smaller sports get some interest, as well. With the right staff and the right ambition, you could lead some quality coverage out there.

    Plus, with the Post-Gazette and some smaller papers like the Beaver County Times and Washington Observer, there's the lure of competition. Each of those has its strong points; the BCT does parts of Allegheny County and Beaver County (including famous power Aliquippa High) well but has limited resources. The PG has a great online set of resources but a small high school staff led by veteran Mike White.

    In other words, there's competition, but there's a lot slipping through the cracks, too.
  8. sports scrub

    sports scrub Member

    Also, take into account the cost of living in Pittsburgh is extremely low, even close to the city.

    With that said, everything said about this gig is true according to someone I talked to close to the situation. As has been said, go in with your eyes open. Not the plum job it appears to be.
  9. sports scrub

    sports scrub Member

    I would still take this job in a second if an offer was extended. I'm not even close to the qualifications they want though.
  10. Padre

    Padre Member

    why would experience at a 50K-plus paper be necessary? just wondering, cuz it knocks me out, even though I think I'm more than qualified otherwise
  11. EagleMorph

    EagleMorph Member

    Because this is a major market paper that takes preps extremely seriously. They've inflated their circulation numbers, as IJAG pointed out, but the work you oversee does get in front of close to 200,000 sets of eyeballs. That's a pretty big step up from a 30-50K circulation stop.
  12. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Exactly, but if you're interested, Padre, I'd send anyway. It can't hurt.
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