Central Editor - The Compass Experiment

Editorial Washington, DC


The Compass Experiment Central Editor works closely with editors and reporters across the Compass properties to produce top-quality journalism and connect with local communities.

This is a key leadership role for an editor who is comfortable working with Compass’s remote local newsrooms as well as building bridges across the larger McClatchy company. 

As part of Compass’ central management team, this person will direct the editorial plans, audience development strategy, KPIs, products, platforms and local partnerships we will set up in each market. As a small staff, everyone is expected to contribute their expertise and ideas for shaping revenue strategy.

This role will work closely with the GM to hire and onboard local editorial teams and help them launch new local sites. They will work with local editors to determine how each Compass newsroom will operate on a daily basis - and pivot those plans as needed. 

This role works hand-in-hand with local editors to determine the editorial strategy for their respective markets, and guides them through execution of that strategy. This person will be heavily involved in the day-to-day operations and editorial planning for each local newsroom to ensure the local team has the support and resources they need to serve their local communities. 

The person in this role should expect to regularly get down in the weeds, acting as another editor to support local teams. This may include acting as local editor when there is an absence or vacation, or jumping in to update and edit on a local site during a big news event. 

This role reports to the Compass General Manager. The successful applicant can be based in McClatchy’s Washington, D.C. office, or a local McClatchy newsroom.  Remote opportunity may also be available.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Lead, direct, collaborate with and coach local editors to identify and produce compelling, mission-driven journalism.
  • Lead, direct, collaborate with and coach Compass’ audience development manager. 
  • Ensure audience analytics and learnings are fed into the development and evolution of local sites.
  • Work with the local editorial teams to effectively communicate and plan audience development efforts. 
  • Build, articulate and reinforce standards for ethics and professional conduct as well as journalistic excellence and fairness across the editorial team.
  • Work closely with local editors to develop editorial talent in each local market.
  • Establish working relationships across McClatchy to ensure we’re collaborating where it makes sense for Compass’ mission. 
  • Use well-developed editing and writing skills and excellent news judgment to help editors identify the best stories to pursue.
  • Lead the teaching and execution of tools for building audience, including urgency, story choices, visuals, headlines, analytics, SEO and social media.
  • Use metrics tools to help guide the direction of our journalism, as well as the ways we get it in front of readers.
  • Work in tandem with the Business Operations Manager to develop and evolve products and strategies that best serve our audience and diversify our revenue.
  • Proactively identify and solve problems, innovate and adapt.
  • Education and knowledge: Minimum of 5 years of newsroom leadership experience preferred. A proven track record of collaboration and innovation is required. 
  • This role will require occasional travel to the local sites and McClatchy offices and meetings. 


  • Excellent news judgment and a demonstrated ability to see a story.
  • Highly developed editing, reporting, writing and social media skills. Excellent news judgment and journalism ethics and a deep appreciation for our watchdog role.
  • A proven ability to lead and direct audience growth and engagement strategies, ideally including:
    • Fluency with analytics and how to apply them.
    • Skill with digital headlines and an understanding of what content works well on different platforms.
    • Good working knowledge of SEO practices.
    • A proven record of driving readership through social media platforms.
  • The ability to work effectively with a wide range of colleagues in managing change.
  • The ability to lead, collaborate with and coach colleagues of varying experience levels.
  • An interest in telling stories using a variety of formats and media, and an enthusiasm for learning new skills and technologies.
  • Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced, constantly evolving and more outcome-oriented than task-oriented.  
  • Ability to prioritize and work under pressure.  
  • Highly developed communication skills.

Benefits and Application:

All Compass team members will be full-time employees of McClatchy. Employee benefits include 401K and competitive medical, dental and life insurance offerings.

In your cover letter, please tell us how your professional experience reflects the attributes we’re looking for, and why you’re uniquely suited for this opportunity.