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Sports Writer, Hilton Head, S.C.

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by boots, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. boots

    boots New Member

    If you’re interested, don’t delay — The Island Packet will move quickly to fill a vacant reporter’s position on its sports department. The Packet is a 20,000-circulation, McClatchy-owned daily that serves Hilton Head Island, S.C., and surrounding areas. The sports department has a long history of award-winning work. Most recently, the Packet earned top-10 daily honors and three other awards in APSE’s 2006 contests — and this was before a new press, an attractive redesign and later deadlines arrived in January.
    We demand thorough and careful reporting, development of enterprise ideas and coverage of a range of sports. We emphasize preps and amateur golf much of the year but also provide major-league coverage of PGA Tour and Champions Tour events in our backyard, and we also cover a four-year university that will begin NAIA competition in the fall.

    Two to three years of experience at a daily newspaper is preferred, but we’re willing to train recent graduates and those with weekly newspaper experience if they demonstrate a capacity to produce quality and quantity. The Island Packet offers a competitive benefits package that includes medical and dental insurance and a 401(k) plan. Salary, which usually exceeds the regional average for newspapers this size, will be commensurate with experience. To learn more about us, visit www.islandpacket.com.

    Please send a cover letter, resume, references and three to five clips to the attention of sports editor Jeff Kidd at P.O. Box 5727, Hilton Head Island, S.C., 29938. Materials also can be e-mailed to jkidd@islandpacket.com. No phone inquiries please.
  2. luckyducky

    luckyducky Guest

    I'm curious about the focus of this job...is there a beat? Am I just blind and can't figure it out myself?
  3. Jeff Kidd

    Jeff Kidd New Member

    Hi Ducky,

    For you and others who are interested, a fuller description of our staff is in order. We have a page designer/copy editor and an ASE who primarily handle presentation and desk duties. I do a bit of everything, from game coverage, to admin work to page design to editing. Since adding a fifth member to the staff about two years ago, reporters have been largely spared desk and design work. (A cursory knowledge of InDesign might be helpful to the newcomer since the departing reporter was responsible for updating and formatting a file the ASE eventually turns into one of our biweekly recreation pages.)

    To answer your question more directly, we do have a rough beat structure for our high school coverage — each reporter is primarily responsible for one public and one private high school. (That's right, only four schools in our coverage area. We choose to give them intense coverage and forgo the middle schools ;). Since a second American Legion team was added inside our coverage area this summer, we've extended the beat structure there, as well.

    Aside from that, though, I simply divide up assignments to even out workloads. And if a reporter has a particular interest, I like to funnel related story assignments their way. Our departing reporter, Kathlyn Clore, who is taking a job in Europe, had an affinity for soccer, so she received lots of soccer-related assignments

    Hope that answers your question.
  4. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    This gets the SCEditor seal of approval, and it should get everybody else's. Jeff Kidd is a first-class guy, runs a great shop and this is an ideal place to live and work. Kathlyn did an excellent job, and I'm sure she's got big shoes to fill. Jeff's got a track record of hiring great people, and a lot of them move on to bigger and better things. This is a great, great gig for anybody. But I will say this: They don't hire anybody off the street. You've got to take an extensive copy editing test, and Jeff is outstanding at wading through a pile of resumes and finding the most talented person out of the bunch. He's also a Gamecock fan, which makes him good in my book.
  5. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    A great place to play golf on your off day. One of the best courses in the country.
  6. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    There ain't just one nice golf course in Hilton Head, I assure you.
  7. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Having worked with Jeff on a couple of things, let me add a battle star to SC's seal of approval. Jeff is a class act -- and a reigning APSE winner, BTW.

    And did any of you wordsmiths with aversions to the desk notice in Jeff's job description this phrase: reporters have been largely spared desk and design work. Speaking from experience, you don't find that at many smaller papers, folks.

    And for the love of all that is right and holy, it's HILTON HEAD. What part of golfing paradise, a cool boss and living near water isn't clear here?
  8. I seem to remember the last opening have a tedious test sent to the five, eight, 10, whatever finalists. But, after I completed mine, well within deadline, and the day after I mailed it in, I get an email from SE saying, 'Sorry, we're bringing someone in, and I'm going to hire him if I can.'

    Love Hilton Head. But that is not a good memory of Hilton Head. Last search was not handled well in that regard. If you have a candidate in mind, and he's coming in, put the five-hour tests on the backburner.

    Jeff seemed like an OK guy to deal with, backing up the support he has on here. But that test thing was not good.

    Still, it's Hilton Head. So apply away.
  9. boots

    boots New Member

    Thanks Jeff for chiming in with the particulars. And yes, it does get the coveted boots seal of approval. You'll work hard and there is competition from other papers so you must be sharp. It's one of the few areas in the country where there is still competition for the reader's interest.
  10. Boots or Jeff (or anyone who knows):
    Looking at the opening in Savannah, and I'm curious ... Are Savannah and Hilton Head competing papers? Are these competing openings?
  11. Jeff Kidd

    Jeff Kidd New Member

    We have distinct readerships and don't really compete, though we both show up at the same events from time to time (they cover the Heritage, which is in our market, and we cover the Legends of Golf, which is in their's, for example.) I've met most of the writers in Savannah at one time or another, and I've never met anyone there I haven't liked. Editor Tony Stastny is a first-rate individual. Their columnist, Tim Guidera, is a good friend and could easily be a star at a much larger paper. Don Heath, their Georgia Southern writer, is as friendly as they come. Morris papers have been debated here in great detail, and from afar, they seem to make odd business decisions from time to time. I don't have much to add to that, though, because I've never worked for one. And I will tell you this — you could do a lot worse for co-workers than working there. Given the state of the market right now, I'm sure there are enough good candidates available to allow both papers to fill their vacancies with quality people.

    As for the competitive nature of our market, Savannah once put out a South Carolina edition called the Carolina Morning News. It had meager circulation and was re-tooled to become the free-distribution Bluffton Today. It operates distinctly from the Savannah newsroom, though I think it's still part of the same business unit (I could be wrong about that, though.) Bluffton Today covers about half of our primary coverage area.
  12. boots

    boots New Member

    Jeff, do you not consider Bluffton competition?
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