General Manager, The Compass Experiment

Editorial Washington, DC Sacramento, CA


We’re looking for a proven leader to launch and run a series of local digital-only news and information sites in three U.S. communities. The project is a partnership between McClatchy and Google.

You should consider this a start-up leadership role, at a well-financed early stage company with support from top-tier organizations.

You will hire and manage a team of journalists, sales professionals, audience growth experts and product staff that build and support these new sites; you’ll collaborate with various teams across McClatchy and Google.

This position can be based at McClatchy’s Washington, D.C. office, in the company’s Sacramento, CA headquarters, or in one of the three markets yet to be identified. It will report to the Vice President, News Operations and New Ventures at McClatchy.

What you’ll do:

  • Build, refine and implement a plan for launching news and information sites
    • Own the mission and strategy for the project and clearly communicate that vision to internal and external stakeholders
    • Find innovative ways for brands to develop deep connections with local audiences and advertisers
    • Leverage McClatchy strengths to support this initiative
  • Manage and direct all operational areas and staff of the Compass Experiment
    • Develop the organizational structure of the team and hire accordingly
    • Lead a team of 10+ journalists, sales and business staff
    • Coordinate with technologists to determine site platform needs
    • Inspire and foster team culture, mentoring others to maximum potential
  • Oversee news operations
    • Work closely with local editorial leads to set standards for coverage
    • Connect with editorial leaders at McClatchy to ensure sites are journalistically sound and relevant to the communities they serve
  • Oversee sales operations
    • Interface with sales leaders across McClatchy to ensure sites are connected to existing sales efforts, where appropriate
    • Develop sales collateral and go-to-market pitch for new sites
  • Oversee business operations
    • Manage the P&L for the group, working closely with McClatchy corporate teams in finance
    • Deliver regular reporting to partners on project progress
    • Be the face of the experiment and share findings at industry conferences and events
    • Stay plugged in to industry trends and innovations; share this knowledge with staff and encourage self-education

Education: College degree preferred.

Experience and skills needed:

  • 8+ years of work experience related to digital news and information, preferably in a start-up environment
  • Experience building a digital revenue model, launching a media sales operation and building and operating P&Ls
  • 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
  • Strong knowledge of local, community-focused news operations and growth strategies for digital properties, including social media platforms
  • Strong data and analytical skills
  • Ability to recruit and retain top talent
  • Strategic thinking experience and the ability to work with dispersed teams
  • Advanced communication/collaboration and the ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines for partners

Personal Attributes:  

Energy, flexibility, and online smarts. Entrepreneurial mindset, proactive thinker with the ability to thrive in an often ambiguous, fast-paced, startup-type environment. Works well within a networked team and diverse group of stakeholders. Thinks big, wisely and can quickly iterate. Willingness to travel (<50%).