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Situation ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Den1983, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Hello all. I've come across a situation recently and wanted to run it by you guys and see what you think:

    I have a job offer from a monthly magazine to be the magazine's (also consisting of a website and social media entities) sports editor. The job does not pay much - tops out at around $24K - and does not include benefits. It comes with a company car and company cell phone, and the publisher has work outfits (polos and shoes) available. The magazine has been around for 15 years; all produced (writing, editing, publishing) by the publisher, who strictly would like to focus on revenue/marketing now. The magazine focuses entirely on high school sports and has some impressive sponsors, including a big chain restaurant and a big grocery chain.

    Here's the catch. The publisher does not have a good reputation around the area's media circles (specifically newspaper). He has been known to cheer on local teams after they win games. That kind of stuff. His magazine thrives on photos, and he gives photos to coaches and players for free sometimes as bait for their business. He also will not cover some stories, he says, like coaches' firings, for example. He prizes relationships with sources.

    What would you do? Would you take the gig? Has anyone had experience in this? All my respected journalism friends have not had anything good to say about him, other than that he's a "good guy" but they'd never even consider working for him. I'll also add that the publisher admits he's not a journalist or even competing with newspapers. It's not like he boasts being a journalist. Would I be jeopardizing my credibility if it was not to work out and I wanted to get back in newspapers one day?
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    If you don't have a job, then you have to decide if it's better than nothing. If you have a newspaper job, it would have to be a horrible place to work if you're considering this with what you've wrote.
  3. Situ unit STAT!
  4. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    No benefits
    Boss known to be a jerk
    How bad do you need a job?
  5. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Only you know if 24k and no benefits is a step up for you.

    I will say this: I wouldn't put much stock in the complaints of newspaper guys who seem to dislike the fact that the magazine publisher doesn't approach his job like a newspaper guy.
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    What everyone else has said so far.

    How desperate are you? And does $24K actually pay for you to have a roof and actual food or is it cardboard box and Ramen?
  7. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Sorry, y'all are right: Right now I am unemployed. Have been for a little less than a month now. Just curious if the risk to my reputation is worth the reward, because this does have the potential to be a good operation if the guy really does remove himself from editorial work and strictly work on marketing/revenue.

    I'll add this (sorry I forgot so many substantials): My brother has a house in the city and I can stay with him. So no rent will have to be paid, though I'll find some way to accommodate him somehow financially.
  8. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I guess I see this differently than everyone else so far.

    If you don't have another job and you're interested in this one, I'd take it.

    Or, even you have a job, (and depending on it, of course), and if you're interested in this, I still might take it.

    My reasoning is this: You would be the sports editor of the magazine, not the publisher.

    If/when you put the job on your resume, it's going have the magazine's name listed, not the publisher's.

    Whenever I introduce myself as a reporter, I say something along the lines of, "Hi, my name is WriteThinking. I work for the Podunk Press." I don't say, "Hi, my name is WriteThinking and I'm calling for Peter Publisher."

    And, all that said, you'd be becoming a sports editor. If you haven't been one before, that's a great thing, particularly on a sports journalist's resume. You'd also be additionally expanding your horizons by working a stint for a magazine instead of a newspaper.

    Unless you, personally, already know that you can't stand the publisher and would never work with him, I don't really see this move as a bad thing. Besides, everyone's interactions with people are varied. Perhaps you'd have a different perspective and experience with the guy. You never know.
  9. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    I appreciate everyone's insight.

    Is the fact that the publisher would censor some "negative" stories (such as coaches' firings) not a red flag, or a concern? Or is it not a concern because this is not a newspaper and ethics are different?
  10. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Speaking as mostly a newspaper guy, that would worry me a bit, and I would do my best to firm up those guidelines / boundaries before you took the job. Does he just not report on firings because a) he's uncomfortable doing those stories or b) he doesn't want them in his publication? I imagine it might be more A than B, because even if someone is fired, there are classy or low-key ways to cover it without burning bridges. You're a magazine, so you're not going to be worried so much about scooping others with that sort of news.

    Also - Any chance you'd be able to trade some of the salary for profit participation or something to that effect? $24k is really, really low for an editing position. For what sounds like a pretty good publication - with the publishing switching to sales / ads fulltime presumable - that does seem a bit low, especially since there are no bennies outside of the company car (double-edged sword, since you probably have a car now anyway and it might just complicate things) and company clothing (again, depending on the style and what not, it could be a mixed blessing).
  11. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    get out of the business completely.
  12. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    24K and NO benefits? How much would it cost to insure yourself?
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