General Manager, Branded Content Studio (Creative Lab)

Editorial Washington, DC


We’re looking for a talented and proven leader to run the Creative Lab @ McClatchy, our award-winning, in-house branded content studio. The Creative Lab produces comprehensive and customized content experiences and event-based solutions for advertisers. 

You will manage and guide a team of creative, content, sales development and operations specialists to deliver best-in-class branded content to drive new business and support existing digital sales. The Creative Lab interfaces with various teams across McClatchy to identify leads, manage a pipeline, present to clients, close business and distribute content effectively.

This position will be based at McClatchy’s Washington, D.C. office and will report to the Director, Video Business Operations. 

What you’ll do:

  • Refine and implement a master plan for growing our branded content business nationally
    • Own the mission and strategy for the Creative Lab and clearly communicate that vision to internal and external stakeholders
    • Find innovative ways for brands to partner with McClatchy – via text, video, images, events and experiences
    • Leverage advertiser touch points across the company to promote the Creative Lab’s services
  • Manage and direct all operational areas and staff of the Creative Lab
    • Lead a team of 10+ creatives and strategists
    • Inspire and foster amazing team culture, mentoring others to maximum potential
    • Develop the organizational structure of the team and hire accordingly
  • Oversee sales operations
    • Interface with sales leaders across the company to support market-based sales efforts; schedule regular update calls and visits
    • Manage one direct sales representative
      • Set sales targets and performance plans
      • Meet regularly to review performance, progress, and targets
      • Coach, counsel, and support
  • Work with the Director of Video Business Operations and finance teams to develop and refine quarterly and annual plans in support of company revenue and new business goals
    • Manage the P&L for the Creative Lab
  • Build a portfolio of projects and develop a sales & marketing plan
    • Provide sales teams with tools and strategies to effectively position, package and close branded content deals
    • Refine the positioning and communication about the Creative Lab to our sales and advertiser communities
    • Drive creation of the high-quality sales collateral, materials and programs to excite advertisers
    • Represent the Creative Lab on important sales pitches, as needed
  • Oversee project scope, timelines, and budgets
    • Effectively manage use of full-time and contract labor
    • Build network of freelance resources, as needed
  • Establish project workflow and manage resource requirements for each campaign
    • Refine branded content processes over time and share best practices
    • Track feedback from the field to optimize success
  • Oversee master project calendar
  • Maintain standards and quality control to ensure that we’re delivering the best possible product and optimizing campaign performance
  • Position the Creative Lab as a thought leader among in-house content studios
  • Stay plugged in to industry trends, advertising innovations, new tactics in video, social, and experiential media; share this knowledge with staff and encourage self-education

Education: College degree required.

Experience and skills needed:

  • 8+ years of work experience related to branded content  - could be a combination of digital advertising/marketing, editorial development, sales and/or production. Must include leadership experience.
  • Experience building a revenue-defining digital initiative for an organization, preferably a media organization
    • Excellent leadership, interpersonal, organizational, and problem solving skills required
    • Highly effective manager – ability to play up the strengths of your team and inspire them to be great
    • A vision to scale operations in a fast-paced and dynamic environment
  • Demonstrated mastery of the branded content landscape, including the latest techniques for growing audience, distribution, and managing production budgets
    • Enthusiastic support and understanding of the role that branded content plays in the marketing mix
    • A vision of future video advertising/audience trends and digital media is critical
  • Strong knowledge of video including what it takes to shoot and edit quality video in formats suited for all audience and platforms
    • Digital, print, experiential and social knowledge a plus
  • Strong data and analytical skills to manage the creative production and delivery process, as well as report Creative Lab results to company executives and external marketers
    • Experience building and operating a P&L
  • Ability to recruit and retain top talent
  • Experience closing or helping develop innovative advertising deals
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills, with a demonstrated track record of successful pitches.
  • Strategic thinking experience and the ability to work with dispersed teams.
  • Advanced communication/collaboration and the ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines

Personal Attributes:  Energy, flexibility, and online smarts. Entrepreneurial mindset, proactive thinker with the ability to thrive in an often ambiguous, fast-paced, start up-type environment. Works well within a networked team and diverse group of stakeholders. Thinks big, works wisely and quickly iterates. Willingness to travel (~30%).