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Sports editor -- Helena, Mont., Independent Record

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by boundforboston, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. boundforboston

    boundforboston Well-Known Member


    The Independent Record in Helena, Mont., honored by the Montana Newspaper Association for "Best Sports Pages" in 2011, has a full-time opening for a sports editor.

    In addition to managing two other members of the sports staff and coordinating photo assignments, the ideal candidate would also write games stories and features, and design pages. The Independent Record's coverage area features NAIA Carroll College (home of a six-time national champion football team), two large high schools (Helena High and Capital), two smaller high schools (Jefferson and Townsend), a minor league hockey team (Helena Bighorns), a minor league baseball team (Helena Brewers), professional rodeo and several amateur/recreational sports opportunities.

    The successful applicant must have good time-management, communication and leadership skills, and must demonstrate proficiency in Quark XPress. Experience with social media, Web content management systems and photography is helpful. At least 3 years with a sports department at a daily newspaper is required.

    The Independent Record is a division of Lee Enterprises. We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package. If you are interested in this opportunity, please apply online, including cover letter, resume and clips of your work at www.helenair.com/workhere

  2. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    By all means, sign up to be at the whim of Mary Junck.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I worked there from 2009-2011 and know several people who are still there. Things have changed a lot in the last couple of years.
  4. gravehunter

    gravehunter Member

    for the better?
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    It would be a stretch to say that. The person hired will be the fifth full-time sports editor in the past five years. There are legitimate reasons for that.

    When I started, sports had four full-timers and a heavy (30 hrs/week) part-timer. Then cut to four and now three. So you still have seven desk shifts per week to split up and one of the staffers has NO pagination skills whatsoever, so that's seven desk shifts (including the busy Saturday) to be split up among two people. If someone gets sick or takes vacation, that leaves ONE person to handle seven desk shifts. I have heard that Lee Enterprises may go to pagination hubs at some point, but not sure what the timetable is for that to actually take place.

    As a result of the cutbacks, a lot of the more appealing stuff got tossed to the curb. No more trips to Missoula or Bozeman to cover the colleges like I used to do. Maybe some travel in the high school playoffs, but even that is going to be looked at with a microscope. Not nearly as much travel with Carroll College (NAIA) football, which is a mixed blessing. They ditched the weekly 12-16 page Carroll football tab because there simply weren't enough bodies around to do all the writing and production and still get out a daily section seven days a week.

    So at this point, it's a lot of local, local, local: high schools, Carroll College, junior hockey team, rookie league minor league baseball team, legion baseball, small-time rodeos, etc. And, with the manpower cuts, a lot less time for feature and enterprise pieces.

    I suspect they will try to pin a candidate into a salary position at $35k, with no overtime. And you'll wind up working 50-60 hours per week to get it all done, at least at the outset.

    Candidate needs to have a long, hard talk with management about expectations and coverage philosophy and be on the same page. Candidate needs to present a real clear vision for how he/she would run things and manage resources and be able to sell that vision. Otherwise you'll wind up having arguments over little things daily. And, like a lot of places, long-time readers have grown accustomed to the way things were done back when the staff was twice the size it is today.

    On the bright side, it can be a good opportunity for the right person (single, no social life, independently wealthy, etc.) if management gives you enough room to do your thing without interferring.
  6. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Sources at the paper inform me a new SE will start later this month, making a move from a sister paper in the Lee chain and reuniting with the managing editor with whom he formerly worked. Good luck to all.
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