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The (Upper Sandusky, Ohio) Daily Chief-Union hiring a sports/news writer

Discussion in 'Journalism Jobs' started by lmcmillan33, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. lmcmillan33

    lmcmillan33 Member

    The Daily Chief-Union, Upper Sandusky, Ohio, is hiring a sports/news writer. This position is considered a 60/40 sports/news split with a higher percentage of sports during the school year (and mostly news during the summer). Primary sports coverage is high school, but there are opportunities to cover Ohio State. News coverage includes city council and school board beats. Candidates with some design experience are preferred. Basic photography also will be taught and is part of the job. Interested candidates should apply to Sports Editor Lonnie McMillan at lmcmillan@dailychiefunion.com or 111 W. Wyandot Ave., Upper Sandusky, OH 43351.

    This job should be posted on journalismjobs.com in the next day or two, but I thought I'd give users of this site a head start. I can answer questions anyone has on the position. It's a good job for someone looking to get started in the field. Of course, we'd be glad to take on someone with experience also. I admit it is a lot of work (pay is for 48 hours per week) and involves doing a little bit of everything. The Daily Chief is a morning, six-days-a-week paper, so the position involves being in the office early five days a week with evening and weekend work (and afternoons usually free). Upper Sandusky is small, located halfway between Columbus and Toledo. It's a quiet and inexpensive place to live. I can't answer exactly how much it pays, but I am confident it is a good starting rate for a paper this size. As mentioned above, the concentration is on coverage of five high schools. They are small but generally quite compeitive. We cannot afford to cover a hotel stay or mileage for interviewees unfortunately, so apply only if you can make your own travel arrangements. The current person in this position is done Aug. 15 (took a job in another career field), so we're looking to move pretty quickly, especially with the high school sports season around the corner. Again, I'll answer any questions I can.
  2. Young Grasshopper

    Young Grasshopper New Member

    Hehehehehehehehehehehe. Upper Sandusky.
  3. MEL31602

    MEL31602 New Member

    "We cannot afford to cover a hotel stay or mileage for interviewees unfortunately, so apply only if you can make your own travel arrangements"

    Does that mean all interviews have to be in person? I live 10 hours away and would be willing to move to Ohio if I get the job, but it might be hard for me to get over there just for the interview.
  4. lmcmillan33

    lmcmillan33 Member

    I think our publisher prefers in-person interviews, but I wouldn't say an inability to interview in person would automatically rule a person out. Personally, if a candidate such as yourself stood out, I would push to make exceptions, but ultimately I'm not the one who makes that decision.
  5. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    It seems like either sports or news is going to suffer somewhat, especially given the beats this person would be on.

    City council and school board are pretty much fulltime beats, sometimes more to do the best job.

    I've seen news/sports splits where the news part is more enterprise/feature reporting, which seems more doable.

    I've actually done this split before. Well, it was copy desk/sports, which seems like a much easier split.

    Lonnie, how successful has your split been in the past? Is this guy the main city council guy or just helps out?
  6. lmcmillan33

    lmcmillan33 Member

    Again, this is a small paper in a rural county. The news staff is only four people, but in a county of this size (about 22,000 people), it really is big enough to cover all the news in great detail. Upper Sandusky (about 6,500 people) is the only "city." The others towns are actually villages, and for the most part, coverage by this person primarily is council meetings. During the high school sports season, the other news writers will cover events as needed, regardless of what or where they are. Sports-wise, I've got pretty much myself and this other person at my full disposal (plus a couple of stringers) to provide coverage of five high schools, so I think we certainly are able to do that very well also.
  7. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    Makes sense. I didn't realize Upper Sandusky was that small.

    The paper that I did the desk-sports split on was a bit larger.

    I will say it wasn't a bad thing doing that split. It gave a little bit of variety (which I'm sure your job would).
    Of course, I'll also say as soon as there was a fulltime sports opening I switched positions.
  8. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Afternoons off? So you can come in at 7:30 because the publisher wants to see reporters at their desks, and you can stay until 11 writing gamers or laying the paper out. But hey, you're off from 1 to 4 in the afternoon. So, you know, that's nice.
  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    The ad listing says pay is for 48 hours per week. I'm assuming that's taking into account paying time and a half for the 8 hours of overtime?
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    You're pretty funny, Baron, but of course I know you don't think the paper will pay OT. For those applying for a job, make a screen capture of the original post for the eventual lawsuit to get back OT pay.

    Don't expect much in pay in general if the paper can't pay $60-70 for a hotel. Cheapskates.
  11. lmcmillan33

    lmcmillan33 Member

    There is no time in the office in the evenings. All of that stuff is what you do in the morning. There are a few instances where I've asked a reporter to try to get their story done before they come in the next morning (or to come in a little early) if we have a lot of things to do so we are sure to make deadline. But a basic day is to come in at 7, put together that day's paper by 10:15, spend another hour or two wrapping things up and then go home until whatever you cover that evening. When the game is over, you get to go home (except on Friday nights because we publish Saturday's paper in the morning). There is no Sunday paper. On average, your 48 hours in a week are something to the effect of M-F 7-12 and 6-9, Friday evening 6-2, and Saturday for 4 or 5 hours or so covering an event. It varies by season and what you are covering, of course, but most of the time you are off something like 12-6. And I also try to work in at least one evening off per week. That usually allows the reporter to get some news coverage done in the afternoon, go home by 3 and have a lot of free time. I also try to work in a Saturday or two off per sports season and in spring and summer, I rotate on Friday night duty, so sometimes you are off from early afternoon Friday until Monday morning, which is nice.

    As for the pay, it is paid as 8 hours of overtime at time-and-a-half. I personally am salaried, but this position is paid according to actual hours worked. In the past, the person and the publisher have agreed to pay as a salary after a certain amount of time on the job. Of course, that can be a good and bad thing at times, but in general, it works out well just to know you have a definite pay amount coming your way.
  12. Tarheel316

    Tarheel316 Well-Known Member

    Blue font, Baron?
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