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Sports copy editor/reporter, Helena, Mont.

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by Stitch, May 20, 2011.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I'm surprised this didn't get posted sooner.


    Company: Independent Record
    Position: Sport copy editor-reporter
    Location: Helena, Montana
    Job Status: Full-time
    Salary: Not Specified
    Website: http://helenair.com


    The Independent Record, an award-winning 14,000-circulation daily newspaper in Montana's capital city of Helena, is seeking a top-notch sports copy editor and creative page designer to join its talented sports department. The successful candidate will be adept at everything from editing local and wire stories, writing catchy headlines and designing attractive front, feature and inside pages to updating the newspaper's Web site, www.helenair.com, and sending out news alerts. The position will also include some writing and reporting responsibilities, determined by the successful candidate's qualifications.

    Knowledge of QuarkXpress, Adobe InDesign and Photoshop is a plus, as is experience working with news Web sites. A journalism degree and at least one year of previous design and copy editing experience at a daily newspaper is preferred.

    The Independent Record is a member of Lee Enterprises, a premier publisher of local news, information and advertising in primarily midsize markets, with 51 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others, rapidly growing online sites and more than 300 weekly newspapers and specialty publications in 23 states. Lee's newspapers have circulation of 1.6 million daily and 1.9 million Sunday, reaching more than 4 million readers daily. Lee's online sites attract more than 12 million unique visitors monthly, and Lee's weekly publications have distribution of more than 4.5 million households. This full-time position also includes Lee's excellent benefits package, including medical, dental and vision plus optional life insurance and a 401K program.

    Helena is a sports powerhouse, with multiple prep state champions, six-time NAIA football national champion Carroll College, and Class A professional baseball. Helena sits in the heart of the northern Rocky Mountains with endless recreation opportunities such as mountain biking, running, hiking, fly-fishing and boating. Come work for one of the best small-market newspapers in the West.

    Send cover letter, resume, and any clips (layout and writing) to sports editor Jesse Zentz, P.O. Box 4249, Helena, MT 59604 or send electronic copies to jesse.zentz@helenair.com.
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Saturday was my final day and I understand they are hoping to fill the position reasonably soon. Some various thoughts.....

    THE JOB: Not an entry level position, as the person has to be able to make news decisions and work without constant supervision. Expect the job to be heavy on desk work, probably an 80/20 split, if not more, so person will need to be able to paginate on tight deadlines, as well as take results via phone/email and bang out a quick story. At least 1-2 nights per week likely to be solo desk shifts. Currently using Quark, but planning a switch to InDesign in the coming months. No real support for online. Copy desk uploads a few stories and photos at the end of the shift, but no full-time online editor. Deadlines are pretty generous (midnight most nights).

    THE STAFF: led by a new sports editor, is very good, if not large (3 3/4 persons). Scheduling for a 7-day paper can be a challenge at times, particularly when one staffer does not paginate. Paper plays bigger than the 14,000 circ. size (most of the circ is local, not much rural). Typical day is 4-6 pages, 8 on most Sundays. Include all major pro sports (NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, golf, autos) and some college (top 25, regional colleges, etc.). Some days it is challenge to fit it all in, but staff plans very well and management is supportive in giving the space needed to do the job.

    Coverage is primarily local: two Class AA high schools which are pretty competitive in most sports, two Class B schools in the outlying areas that get a little coverage as time/space permit. NAIA Carroll College competes in 8-team Frontier Conference. National championship in football last fall, very competitive in other sports.

    Class A rookie league affiliate of Milwaukee Brewers which won league title in 2010. Tier III junior hockey team which won national championship last April and won league title 6 of last 7 seasons.

    Minimal coverage of Big Sky schools (Univ. of Montana, Montana State University), which I did a lot of, but they are planning to cut back on. Unusually high number of road races, bike races, triathlons, rodeos, etc.

    THE CITY: State capital, but only about 40,000. An hour to Butte, 90 minutes north to Great Falls, 2 hours to Missoula or Bozeman. 6 hours to Calgary, 11 to Seattle. Area is growing, but could use a few more restaurants/retail. Housing situation is a SERIOUS problem. Demand far exceeds supply, leading to overpricing in the rental market. Climate is moderate summers, sometimes severe winters (got our first snowfall on Nov. 16 and last on April 28 this year).

    No one is going to become wealthy here, but you'll make enough to support yourself and maybe a family if the other spouse works as well. Paper is part of Lee Enterprises, which is better than some other chains.

    Hope that helps anyone who might be interested. Feel free to post questions here or PM me.
  3. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Mark, you're taking the gig in Wyoming, right?
  4. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    No, not Wyoming.
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