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Sports Writer La Salle, IL

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by BrianM, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. BrianM

    BrianM Member

    From JJobs.....

    Company: NewsTribune
    Position: Sports Writer Needed
    Location: La Salle, Illinois
    Job Status: Full-time
    Salary: Not Specified
    Ad Expires: September 7, 2011
    Job ID: 290072
    Website: http://newstrib.com


    North Central Illinois PM daily specializing in prep coverage seeks a qualified sports writer to join our staff. If it's high-school related, we cover it. Solid writing skills, with the ability to find angles that don't show up in a box score, required. Feature writing and column writing will be necessary. Weekly layout shifts required; previous Quark experience desired. Occasional opportunities to cover professional sports are available. Please send cover letter, resume and work samples to Linda Kleczewski, 426 Second Street, La Salle, IL 61301. Please no faxes or e-mail.
  2. mrbigles01

    mrbigles01 Member

    I know that by even typing this I am opening myself up to "Why should I spend 20 minutes on a clips package," type of bashing, but here goes anyway.

    Does anyone else find the phrase "no e-mail," strange? What exactly is wrong with an email with the body text as a cover letter and a series of .pdfs of a resume, and clips?
  3. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Besides rating alongside Decatur on the list of down-on-their-luck Illinois towns, The LaSalle News-Tribune was the only place I ever interviewed where I had to take a timed "intelligence test."

    There was this huge test booklet filled with SAT-type reading comprehension, number-series and other fun math questions, and I didn't come close to finishing. Apparently that was the point; they wanted to see how well you could do as the clock ticked down and you knew you couldn't finish.

    That interview/test was in 2002, and it was with the same ME who is mentioned in the ad. Not sure if that's a good sign or not.

    Also: I highly doubt you will be covering much Chicago pro sports. I think a big sticking point for this place is that you NOT live in Chicagoland and commute out to LaSalle-Peru.
  4. bumpy mcgee

    bumpy mcgee Well-Known Member

    Was told by a former employee that EVERY position here is salary so expect to work overtime and expect to not get paid for it.
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Good prep for a Saturday night on the sports desk. 15 minutes till deadline, 5 pages still being worked on to varying degrees, two reporters double-checking their messed-up stats, one guy on the phone with a half-drunk coach who can't remember his team's record. OMG, we have NO CHANCE!!!
  6. Scouter

    Scouter Member

    Anyone know who left?
  7. mureporter

    mureporter New Member

    I know a some about this position.

    As far as covering professional sports, the opportunity is occasional as the ad says. The paper does not cover Chicago sports with any regularity, but the area has produced several professional athletes (former NFL guard Mike Goff, Astros pitcher J.A. Happ) so there are chances to write stories on those guys and go to games in Chicago when they are in town. Also, the sports editor was sent to Philadelphia for a World Series game a few years back when Happ was on the Phillies.

    The post about about no overtime is absolutely false. Like many papers, the NewsTribune wants to limit overtime, but during busy times, you will work overtime and be paid for it.

    The high school sports scene in the area is pretty good. Multiple Division I athletes have come out of the area in the last five years or so in football, basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball. There are several strong programs that make deep postseason runs regularly.
  8. Cubbie Blue

    Cubbie Blue New Member

    I happen to work at this shop so feel free to PM for info or with questions. Also, you can email your resume to sportsjob@newstrib.com. Not sure why that wasn't up to start with.

    As the post above me said, you will be hourly and you will be paid for overtime. The post about being a salary position is completely false.

    Now for the job: We have a three-man staff (a SE, two full-time writers and two part-time guys). We are a PM paper M-F and a Sat AM (we put out two papers on Friday). We have enough people where traditionally you will work 40 hours and no more, but that's not to say you won't occasionally go over 40. Job is primarily preps and, like most places, can be slow in the summer. You will have weekly AM design shifts so Quark experience is a must.

    Our prep scene is usually strong and, even in down sports seasons, we generally have a team or two, or individuals, make a deep postseason run.

    Hours vary but there is a good amount of hour flexibility meaning about half of the job is do it when you want from home as long as you meet the deadline. Other than Friday nights, I have not written a single story in the office in my year-plus back.

    This is not a job that requires you to be in the office every day from 2/5 p.m.-1 a.m. and, minus certain times of the year, you will have a far amount of weekends off. The candidate who gets this job will have as close to a "normal person's life" as any sports job you will find (no sleep till noon, awake to 3 a.m.). Personally, I think this is a very good job in a good sports area.

    Good luck all!
  9. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    When there is overtime, do you get paid straight time-and-a-half?

    When I was there about a million years ago, any hours above 40 were paid out at what they called "half time", which no one ever had any idea what it was all about, how it was figured, etc. It definitely wasn't time-and-a-half, and it seemed to be that the more hours you worked, the less you were paid per hour for those OT hours.

    On a curious note, is there a new publisher yet and is there any noticeable difference from the old publisher since his death? EDIT: Never mind, just checked the website and saw the person who died turned over the publisher reins to someone else a few years ago. Obviously you may not want to answer, but was there ever any word on what preceded and led to the former publisher's death?

    As long as Vickrey (maybe the most evil person alive) isn't getting any more power, things probably haven't changed much ...
  10. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    The lack of an answer tells me they are still doing that bullshit "half-time" thing, which is disappointing. One of my first weeks there, I worked about 70 hours and was quite surprised when I was expecting a check about double normal and instead it was about 30 percent more than normal.

    A couple of things I witnessed there ...

    1. The sports editor (long gone by now) picking up and throwing an office chair at a co-worker as the stress of deadline kicked in. The SE was not fired, and later reacted to that stress by quitting and walking out on the spot. This SE's actions may explain the test given to applicants, in an effort to see how they handle stress.

    2. One day we got a tip on a gambling bust and had a huge front-page blowout on all the arrests. The big (and outstanding) photo was of a female bar owner being led out of her establishment in handcuffs, as slot machines were being carted out in the background. The papers start to roll off the presses, when the ad manager and general manager (now publisher) see that and go nuts because this woman is an advertiser. So they stop the presses, trash all the papers that had been printed and make the newsroom swap out the photo so as not to threaten this sleazy bar owner's modest ad revenue.

    I am not saying this is a shit job. It is a good sports scene in a blah area and a paper with questionable leadership above the ME. You can go there and build up a ton of clips quickly and move on. Good for a young person just out of college. Just know what you are walking into.
  11. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member


    I'd like to think that wouldn't happen at too many papers ... or the paper I work at now, for that matter. But I wouldn't be surprised if it did, either.

    A good (and disgusting) lesson there about who really "controls" local small-town newspapers.
  12. BurnsWhenIPee

    BurnsWhenIPee Well-Known Member

    Definitely. The part that struck me was that they made the product much worse to protect some felon bar owners' daily 2 x 3 black-and-white ad. And all the while, the newsroom managers just smiled, nodded and did what they were told without an argument.

    What would have happened if any of us reporters wrote something completely true and fair that a true "big fish" advertiser found offensive and the advertiser wanted us fired? There's no question we would have been gone on the spot. And I'm sure the newsroom managers would smile, nod and do what they are told in that case, too.
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