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Sports Writer, Waxahachie Newspapers Inc (TX)

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by alex.riley21, May 18, 2011.

  1. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    Hello SJ viewers, my name is Alex Riley and I just wanted to post a job that will be open shortly because I'm the one leaving it. First off, let me say that I am leaving on great terms to take the WyoSports Bureau job previously posted here. Looking forward to working with Robert and Jeremiah sometime in late June.

    With my move there, it leaves my current position open at Waxahachie Newspapers Inc in Texas. This is the ad listing my partner posted on the Texas Press Association site:

    Waxahachie Newspaper Inc. is looking for an energetic sports writer to join its award winning staff. WNI is the home of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror, Ellis County Chronicle, Ennis Journal and Alvarado Post and offers a benefits package that includes health, dental, vision and 401K. The ideal candidate would love sports and have at least one year of journalism experience. There are more than 10 high schools in Ellis County that WNI provides coverage for but this position would focus on Class 5A Midlothian and Class 4A Red Oak High School above all else. Photography is required as is deadline writing and page design. Experience in InDesign and Photoshop are a plus. While the focus is on high school sports, there will be plenty of opportunities to cover college and professional sports. Send resumes and clips to chad.wilson@wninews.com or to the Waxahachie Daily Light, Attention Chad Wilson, PO Box 877, Waxahachie, Texas, 75168.

    Now, for the details into what the job really entails.

    The editorial staff features seven people, two of which are sports. Chad handles all coverage of Waxahachie High School. The Waxahachie Daily Light is a six-day newspaper (no Saturday paper) that goes out to all of the county. The Midlothian Mirror and Ellis County Chronicle are both weekly newspapers that go out to the towns of Midlothian and Red Oak. They were my responsibility.

    Essentially what I've done for the last two years is fill four pages a week in Midlothian (it is it's owns section) and fill two pages a week in the Chronicle. Basically the way I've work is put gamers in the Daily Light after they happen and then take those gamers and turn them into features about a player or aspect of the game for the weekly papers. I'll put just a gamer from Friday's football game in the Sunday daily edition but pull two features/sidebars and a notebook for the weekly (as far as football goes).

    Photography and design are both required and I won't lie, there is a lot of work involved if you do it right. You can half ass it and get by with big photos to take up space but if you're serious about putting out a good product that you have complete control over it's not a bad gig.

    Since I got to Texas from South Carolina, I've covered bowl games, college football games, the Mavs, Cowboys, Rangers, NHRA Fall Nationals, Super Bowl Media Day and so on. My bosses basically gave me total freedom and turned me loose on the scene. I rarely had set assignments and ended up on the front page of both the daily and weeklies quite often.

    This job is what you make it. If you just want to do the bare minimum, fill some pages and go home it can be done. I won't lie - I averaged around 45-60 hours per week, especially during the fall and spring seasons. I worked at least six if not seven days a week. But please understand, that was my choice. I'm a workaholic who wants produce the best stuff. It doesn't have to be that hard.

    Dallas is just a 25-30 minute drive away. The sports in these towns are solid. Midlothian produced Boise State and Kansas State signees this season, Red Oak had a guy sign with UTEP and Waxahachie had the highly rated LaDarius Brown, a TCU signee. Most of the teams are consistently in the playoffs. The coaches are great to work with. Midlothian feeds you Chicken Express at every home football game (an 8,000 seat, $15 million venue).

    If you have any questions, don't hesitate to hit me up. I'll be happy to answer anything you have.
  2. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    So this would be the rare job thread where it's actually appropriate to post "You're hired!"
  3. Mystery Meat II

    Mystery Meat II Well-Known Member

    That's an awful lot of work, especially since you're still expected to be The Miz's assistant

  4. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    What can I say, I love to trend on Twitter when Monday Night Raw is on.
  5. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Now Alex's description is what I wish all job openings looked like.

    I like that area (not too far from the city), have covered games in Midlothian, Ennis and Waxahachie and the people there (stadium staff and coaches) have been good to work with. If I recall correctly, covering a playoff game in Waxahachie after everyone left, the coach in charge of locking up came up and was one of those who said there's a lock on the gate, when you leave shut off this light, shut the gate and lock it and we're cool.
  6. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    Appreciate that joe. Just trying to get the word out there.

    Waxahachie won't be letting anyone lock up the stadium any more since they're rebuilding the whole thing as we speak (big money!). As far as Midlothian (my main beat) goes, they'll stay until you're done and walk you out. Great people to work with. I will miss them.
  7. Cubbiebum

    Cubbiebum Member

    Congrats on the job. I was the other guy they flew in right before you. Obviously jealous you got it.
  8. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    Thanks Cubbie. It was a hard decision on my end but a necessary one to advance the old career. Looking forward to the new challenges. Best of luck to you.
  9. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Wrong side of Dallas. :) But suburbia has been a little slower in devouring Ellis County, so that area (outside of Red Oak) still has a separate flavor from the rest of the Metroplex, almost East Texas-y.
  10. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    Football_Bat, you're right. Things do move a little slower in Ellis County which ain't always a bad thing.

    I have gotten some messages about the paper and the pay. I'll go ahead and share a link so you can see what the paper kind of looks like (at least the sports sections) - www.issuu.com/alex.riley. On there are a good number of Midlothian Mirror sections as well as some Chronicle and Daily Light pages.

    As for the pay, I talked with the bosses and odds are this is a $23-26K gig. That is what I was offered when I came in. I know that will thin a good number of people out from the herd but that salary is very livable in Ellis County, even with cable, internet and high dollar bourbon.

    Thanks again everyone. My partner has been pleasantly surprised with the amount of resumes and it makes me feel good that I'm leaving with people interested in the job.
  11. alex.riley21

    alex.riley21 Member

    Well, just wanted to give everyone the heads up that this one has been filled. I'll let that person reveal who they are if they'd like. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who applied and contact myself or Chad about the position. Definitely a tough pool of strong candidates to wade through. Thanks again.
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