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Sports Writer, Sebring, Fla.

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by Drip, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Highlands Today, a 25,000 circulation daily in Sebring, Fla., has an immediate opening for a talented sports reporter to cover everything from youth baseball to high school and community college to lots of golf to the world famous 12 Hours of Sebring LeMans race. You'll need to shoot good photos, write stories for the paper and web, know how to blog and use all kinds of new media. You'll also do editing and layout as part of our two-person sports staff. Newspaper and online experience required for this position. E-mail a cover letter, resume, and eight of your best game stories, feature stories and any other writing samples that shows your ability. Send them to rhensley@highlandstoday.com. Mail resumes to: Richard Hensley, Highlands Today, 315 U.S. 27 N., Sebring, FL, 33870. No phone calls please.
  2. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    To answer one question right away, Journalism Jobs has pay between 30-35K. If it's 35K, that's not bad for a 25K paper, but what's cost of living like down there?
  3. readyandwilling

    readyandwilling New Member

    It's in the mail. Hopefully I can find someone to take a chance on a new graduate (April). Sure seems like a tough market to be getting into right now.
  4. Lollygaggers

    Lollygaggers Member

    I was shocked to see $35k as a potential salary. That would go a long way down in Highlands County. Cost of living there is much cheaper than Tampa and Orlando, obviously, but even cheaper than Lakeland or Kissimmee or Gainesville or other decent sized towns in central Florida. Sounds like a pretty good opportunity.
  5. ickeywoods

    ickeywoods New Member

    I think I just might Ickey shuffle my way down to Sebring.
  6. calbears812

    calbears812 New Member

    what's the negatives?
  7. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    It's a desolate hellhole on US 27. You're literally at least an hour from anything interesting. The 12 Hours of Sebring is as close as you'll get to big-time anything. You'll be the youngest person in town.

    Surprised they're hiring. It's part of the Tampa Tribune, which means Media General.

    Two-paper town wide spot in the road, weirdly.
  8. ARose17

    ARose17 Member

    That, and plenty of trips to the local little league fields for big scoops.
  9. rlavner

    rlavner New Member

    This is my soon-to-be old post. E-mail me at rlavner@gmail.com if you have any personal questions about the position. Good luck to those applying.
  10. BCox34

    BCox34 New Member

    Too bad this is so far away from me (Texas). I might be interested otherwise.
  11. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Yeah, if you've ever looked at a map of Florida and noticed that the interstate highways (75 along the Gulf Coast and through Alligator Alley, 95 up the Atlantic Coast and 4 across the midsection of the state) form a misshapen box, and that the inside of that box seems to contain nothing of any interest at all?

    Sebring's right in the middle of that box. You're also more than two hours from both the ocean and the Gulf, which is damn difficult to do in Florida.
  12. Bamadog

    Bamadog Well-Known Member

    The town sucks. Hate to say it, but it does. No nightlife. Lots of old people. Lots and lots and lots and lots of old people. It's far away from everything, close to nothing. It's like that line from O Brother Where Art Thou, "Ain't this a geographical oddity, two weeks from everywhere." It's about an hour and change to O-town suburbs. It's about an hour and change to Tampa. It's about an hour to Lakeland. It's about two hours to Miami. Nothing is within just an hour's drive, unless you like Lake Okeechobee or endless ranches and swamps.

    Did I mention there's nothing more than orange groves, a really good racetrack (the 12 Hours of Sebring is a blast to cover if you're a gearhead), a mall, a big lake (Highlands County is nothing BUT lakes, great if you're a bass fisherman), a nice state park and that's about it.

    Oh, and it's warm. That's the one bright spot. Except in the summer, when it's hotter than the surface of the sun and you're sweating your ass off covering Dixie ball while some parent gripes in your ear about your "lack" of coverage. Fun times. There were days during Dixie ball season that I was convinced that I was getting a glimpse of Hell.

    If you are single, your chances of getting laid go to about nothing there unless you find the AARP set sexy. If you are married, there aren't a lot of great things to do if you're a couple. Unless shuffleboard turns your gears.

    With the budget cuts they've sustained, it's amazing that they even have a section anymore. When I was there, they talked about burying the News-Sun, the bi/triweekly that's been there for years, where copy editing is nonexistent and it pays less than slave wages.

    Not so much anymore. The HT was a staff of 3, now just two to do front page and agate. Nothing special. From what I've heard, the section has sunk pretty low as far as quality is concerned.

    They have really odd deadlines and as people called it correctly, the Highlands Today/Yesterday. Tuesday's gamers don't appear until Thursday's paper since Sebring has no press. There's also only a partial AP subscription. So plan on filling those papers in the summer with lots of DIXIE BALL copy. It's a staple. A staple of what I don't know.

    You'll be covering a ton of Dixie baseball. Did I say that already? You'll spend ALL SUMMER doing it. You'll be driving all over parts of Florida not mentioned in tourism adverts to watch little nine-year olds play baseball.

    Cost of living here is not inexpensive. There is one apartment complex not in the ghetto part of the town. Rent starts at 500 apiece and up if you don't want to live in crackville. Houses are out of sight.

    The prep sports there are abysmal. The demographics just aren't in their favor, with most of the county being older than reruns of Leave It to Beaver. The community college in town is a good beat and a lot of fun. All of the coaches there are extremely cooperative, helpful and appreciative, especially the baseball coach (Rick Hitt) and the softball coach (Carlos Falla).

    The race is a blast. I've covered all sorts of things and that was the one thing down there I loved more than anything else. Great racing and the PR staff at the track and for the American LeMans Series is as cooperative as you could ever want.

    So if you're just starting out, it's good experience for a couple of years if you can handle the fact you're going to have a cloistered lifestyle and spend 1/4 of your time covering snot-nosed brats playing awful baseball. I was down there nearly 2 years and even though I hated the place when I was there, I learned a ton and that ultimately helped me.

    Caveat emptor, for sure.
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