The USA TODAY NETWORK is seeking a Regional Sports Director for our South Region to lead and coordinate our reporting and editing teams, to work closely with our national sports network, and to work with other team leaders to grow digital audience, engagement and loyalty through a continuing commitment to excellence.
The ideal candidate will be an exceptional team leader; be adept at generating and guiding editors and reporters on ideas, reporting and writing; possess sound news judgment and ethics; have experience leading journalism professionals and managing budgets; have a record of working well with other departments on special projects and strategic planning as well as daily operations. We’re looking for someone with a keen understanding of analytics and audience who can help us innovate and grow.
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The Regional Sports Director will report both to the Regional Editor for the South and likely be based in Nashville. This leader will work with sports editors and staff in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana to cover multiple professional franchises in all of the major sports, the SEC and other colleges in our region as well as high school and local sports.
The sports staff in the more than 20 newsrooms we have in the South are dedicated to providing expertise, depth, analysis and commentary that fans of our sporting teams love and can’t find anywhere else. Our journalists must maintain tough, critical reporting standards and hold our teams’ players, coaches and executives accountable, while also striving to engage fans through conversations on social media, in chats, live blogs, videos and other platforms.
The sports director leads a team that’s always pushing to be creative and ambitious, finding compelling stories big and small to tell beyond the daily grind, diving into stats for trends and tendencies, looking for the back stories of the people we cover, and experimenting with alternative storytelling formats such as Q&As, lists, oral histories, videos, podcasts, social media aggregation and more.
Qualified news leaders interested in this position should apply soon.
·Bachelor’s or master’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Marketing or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
·5+ years’ experience as a respected sports journalism leader, with emphasis on digital content and multimedia platforms.
·Experience in high-level decision-making with complex, impactful or sensitive news content.
·Advanced understanding of various news and information content management systems.
·A history of successful leadership, collaboration, innovation and goal achievement.
·Demonstrated change leader who collaborates and communicates effectively with diverse peoples and personalities.
·Demonstrated record of leading a coverage team, including remote writers.
·Proven history of guiding strong watchdog, enterprise and features work across multiple platforms.
·Strong social media skills.
·Understanding of best uses of live and recorded video and how to inculcate video skills throughout the team.
·Ability to work well on deadline.
·Ability to write with accuracy and precision.
·Excellent communication and time-management skills.
·Approachability, personal charisma, comfortable with public speaking and a commitment to staff.
·Understanding of the changing sports media landscape and ability to adapt strategies that address continually changing market and consumer needs and desires.
·Strong competitive instincts and intellectual curiosity.
·Ability to effectively manage and coordinate in an environment of accountability.
·Track record in recruiting a highly successful sports journalism team.
·Command of media law and Principles of Ethical Conduct.
·Employment is contingent on passing a pre-employment, post-offer background check.
When applying, please include a single document with as much of the following as possible: a brief cover letter explaining your interest and fit for the position, your updated resume, and portfolio/clips/links to a few samples of your work. It’s important that these items be combined into a single document, preferably in PDF format. The application will only allow one document upload. Completing these steps will ensure that you receive the highest consideration.
Here’s what we have to offer:
We offer a competitive base salary and career growth opportunities as part of the nation’s largest news organization. We also offer you a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, Paid Time Off, Company Paid Holidays, employee discount program and domestic partner benefits.