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Sports reporter -- Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by jmb51879, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. jmb51879

    jmb51879 Member



    The Pensacola News Journal has an immediate opening for an experienced sports writer, with a main focus on covering high school sports in Northwest Florida. The successful candidate will have at least one year experience at a daily newspaper covering preps and have multimedia experience in print and video. Pre-employment drug-screen and background check are required.

    You can email resumes to sports editor Bob Heist, bheist@pnj.com.

    I'll leave it to Bob to expand on the job description, but I will tell you that we circulate around 60,000. Our sports section won its first APSE awards in several years in 2010, taking second place for beat reporting, top 10 in special sections and honorary mention in Sunday section.

    This position is a big part of what we do and goes far beyond preps. Notable talents to come out of the area include Emmitt Smith, Derrick Brooks and Justin Gatlin. More recently, Trent Richardson graduated from our area. We have seven players in the NFL and two dozen kids signed D-I scholarships last football season.

    Baseball America ranks a local shortstop the top prospect in the nation for next year's class. His team won the 2010 ESPN Fab 50 national championship. Our prep teams consistently are competing for state titles in all sports, and we cover them intensely.
  2. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    It's Gannett.
  3. spud

    spud Member

    Dealt with a few N-Jers when I worked in that neck of the woods. All good folks, from my experiences, though I'm not sure how many are still there. As mentioned, the area has enough good preps to keep you busy. Pace is a baseball power, Pensacola Catholic has built up a nice little football dynasty, and you'll have a few teams across the board take turns beating up on your neighbors to the south.

    One thing I will say: the Florida panhandle isn't for everyone. In these times especially I doubt this should deter anyone from applying, but I found few redeemable qualities about the place. Aside from the beaches (which, make no mistake, are eight shades of awesome), the "things to do" folder is pretty thin. It's in the heart of that cone of nowhere that extends from Jacksonville to Atlanta to Memphis down to New Orleans, and I was happy to leave. It's not so much Florida as it is southern Alabama.
  4. TGO157

    TGO157 Active Member

    I work for a small newspaper near Gulf Shores, Ala., and each chance I get I pick up a copy of the News Journal. It is a solid publication.

    They compete, if I am not mistaken, with the Northwest Florida Daily News out of Ft. Walton Beach. The Press Register out of Mobile is also nearby, but I do not know if they cross over much in the prep sports coverage.

    Pensacola also is a cool city. You are within an hour of Mobile, two hours of casinos in Biloxi and Gulfport, and around three hours from New Orleans.
  5. GlenQuagmire

    GlenQuagmire Active Member

    The PNJ does quality work despite it being a Gannett newspaper. It won a slew of awards since Heist arrived from Louisiana more than a year ago.

    You'll be expected to bust your ass and be a team player, but there should be plenty of opportunities to do special, memorable work. Very interesting job opening, especially in this current work climate.
  6. Buckeye12

    Buckeye12 Member

    Didn't they get the memo that Gannett just canned another 700 people last week, 2 percent of each shop's workforce across the board, supposedly.
  7. RustyHampton

    RustyHampton Member

    Two thumbs up for Bob Heist and others at the PNJ.

    YGBFKM Guest

    What happened to the previous SE?
  9. jmb51879

    jmb51879 Member

    Our previous SE, Bill Vilona, now is our senior reporter/columnist.
  10. bobheist_pnj

    bobheist_pnj New Member

    Hey folks, here's the skinny on our opening.

    The successful candidate will be our lead writer on the major preps in Pensacola - particularly football. And, of course, our baseball is among the finest in this part of the country.

    Expectations go far beyond basic prep coverage in some other markets.

    You will be the face of our major preps coverage. For example, in football, the candidate each week will be responsible for two Prep Insider pages (Tuesday/Sunday), which are a combination notes/stats/feature package; Game Day cover story and inside preview page for each game involving an area team on Friday; all breaking news/recruiting for area players; major part of two Prep Insider videos previewing and reviewing games; on top of state and national topics that affect our teams, which lends itself to plenty of enterprise.

    The position is based on strong writing skills. This is not an entry level spot by any means.

    We have nine players in the NFL, four currently on the PGA Tour and a slew of players at major colleges in football and baseball. Our best writers get the opportunity to become involved in these stories. We don't have free run on the company checkbook, but are supported by management to do quality stuff. This position must be occupied by a writer capable of that level work.

    This position is for a producer, obviously, but you will be supported by me and given the time to do a quality job when we develop enterprise or special projects.

    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to message me. We're hoping to move quickly, but are being pretty particular at the same time.

    We're replacing D.C. Reeves. He's moving on to become managing editor at warchant.com and leaving some big shoes to fill.
  11. dkphxf

    dkphxf Member

    Bob -- any idea on the timeline?
  12. bobheist_pnj

    bobheist_pnj New Member

    We should be on the phone in a couple weeks. We're receiving a lot of interest, so we'll let it run through the end of next week and see where we're at with candidates.
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