Chief Content Officer and Editor-in-Chief
Education Week, flagship brand of Editorial Projects in Education (EPE), has a 35-year history of serving the nation’s leading pre-K-12 policymakers, educators, researchers, and other influencers with independent and highly respected journalism, research, data, and community. As the pre-eminent resource in the field, Education Week engages readers with important education news, meaningful analysis, outside opinion and commentary, and distinctive explanatory and investigative journalism across a range of digital, print, and broadcast platforms as well as through live and virtual events.
The plan for 2017 is to further broaden the footprint into digital video, broadcast, and other visual forms of storytelling. EPE is also reimagining and redesigning edweek.org and has increased its commitment to data journalism, in part by leveraging EPE’s research operations. New digital subscription products are being developed as EPE seeks new ways to serve and expand its national and, increasingly, international audience with high-quality and largely original journalism and research.
EPE is an entrepreneurial non-profit media organization with a double bottom-line focus. A mission orientation is combined with a strong desire to evolve EPE’s projects and products to improve U.S. pre-K-12 education, to serve the audience, and to ensure EPE’s growth and sustainability. About 75 percent of its revenue comes from subscribers and advertisers, with the remaining support coming from a committed group of philanthropic funders. Non-print operations have grown dramatically over the past 15 years; more than 65 percent of the publishing revenue is generated from digital products and services.
EPE is committed to the idea that investing in excellent journalism will generate paid-content/reader revenue, and that putting readers front and center aligns the organization’s business goals with EPE’s journalistic mission. Edweek.org connects with close to four million visitors and almost a half-million active registered users each month. That content is regularly highlighted through robust social media channels and a variety of partnerships, such as high-profile work with the PBS NewsHour.
The Chief Content Officer (CCO), carrying a dual title of Editor-in-Chief (EIC), is the most senior editorial management role of EPE and Education Week. Reporting to the CEO, this Content Leader will be a key partner to her in helping further institutionalize a culture of big ideas, big ambitions, and successful execution.
The CCO/EIC will head a dynamic and creative team of digital/print journalists, broadcast/video correspondents, producers, designers, and events specialists across all platforms. He or she will be responsible for the continued development of the team needed to support a modern enterprise that is audience-centric, data-informed, and competitive in today’s fast-changing media landscape. He or she is charged with helping to create the leadership, vision, and strategic planning for the entire content team.
As a key member of the executive team that helps set the company’s strategic direction, the CCO/EIC will collaborate at a high level with Audience Development, Analytics, Accounting, the EPE Research Center, Fundraising, Advertising/Marketing, and IT to help drive product innovation, audience engagement, and revenue to ensure an overall view is taken of opportunities and challenges.
Scope and Impact of the Role
It’s an exciting time to join Education Week and EPE. The organization is seeking a dynamic and entrepreneurial journalist and editor with demonstrated management experience who is ready to help lead EPE through its next exciting stage of growth, as well as continued evolution to a highly innovative, digital-first, cross-platform content creator that uses digital, video, and technology to the fullest capacity. This individual also will continue to transform the most interesting and high-impact report in pre-K-12 education. Taking the reins from long-tenured editorial leadership is an opportunity to leverage the enormous success and prominence built over the years with fresh, dynamic, and digitally distributed content that creates even greater impact on education and policy leaders. As education continues to dominate the news and have increasing business and political implications, the responsibility of the brand—and by extension the CCO/EIC—is greater than ever.
- Lead in setting an editorial vision and voice for all content and content-driven product development across platforms and formats to ensure Education Week and EPE present pre-K-12 education as an urgent, accessible story of vital societal concern.
- Lead and manage an ambitious, creative editorial staff of about 40, plus a robust group of freelancers, in collaboration with the senior team of editors. Align staffing structure, job responsibilities, and staff skills with strategic objectives. Foster a creative and productive work environment geared to serving the needs of EPE’s audience while also advancing staff members’ professional growth.
- Help drive storytelling and content-driven product innovation across the newsroom; continue to position Education Week as a leader in data-driven journalism; play an active role in influencing visual and interactive journalism; and support best practices in presenting digital news design. Provide strategic guidance around enhanced use of video.
- Influence strategy for social media and best practices for use of social media.
- Focus on further deepening the quality, reach, and impact of EPE’s digital report. Continue, and lead, a newsroom transformation to make its work even more digitally focused and nimble, in part by helping drive a clear vision for prioritizing workflows that support digital storytelling.
- Stay abreast of innovations in the content and media world, such as the evolution of communication/delivery platforms. Help inform decisions on new digital content management systems to provide the newsroom with best-in-class publishing tools.
- Help identify and create new editorial franchises that appropriately expand how people think of the Education Week brand and that support strategic EPE objectives.
- Drive enhancements to existing products and services based on customer and market insight, and provide input into new-product development. Encourage the use of social and other analytics tools to better understand how readers and viewers are connecting with EPE’s work, and to help inform content decisions.
- Lead in setting and upholding the ethical framework and standards for editorial and, in collaboration with the senior team of editors, address ethical and legal issues as they arise. Serve as a wise arbiter who understands and respects different viewpoints and who can, as needed, achieve effective resolutions of disagreements.
- Work strategically with senior EPE audience development, sales, and marketing staff to identify editorial areas where EPE can effectively combine its signature journalism and information resources with multi-platform strategies to support revenue objectives.
- Play an active and strategic role in development/fundraising activities related to EPE’s journalism, while further deepening the partnership between editorial operations and EPE’s development team.
- Represent Education Week and EPE’s journalism as a public face and voice in media appearances and at education, professional, industry, and EPE events.
- Help forge external partnerships and other relationships with outside parties that can advance EPE’s news, information dissemination, and public affairs missions.
- Guide the development of and help manage editorial expense budgets, and use solid financial skills to help evaluate potential editorial investments.
Required Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities
- Demonstrated leadership and people-management skills, with a keen eye for talent; an ability to motivate staff members and develop high-performing, diverse teams; and experience in leading teams through change at scale.
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically and structurally. Must be adept at identifying and responding to changing media trends and emerging communication/distribution technologies, with a clear vision of the ways these media can be used for audience development and revenue growth.
- Entrepreneurial mindset, with a passion for innovation and an understanding of business drivers; a track record of developing and launching innovative projects or editorial products; and a sophisticated appreciation for analytics, metrics, and other ways that audience data can inform content decisions.
- Strong news-storytelling and journalism background and proven success in developing content for multiple platforms. Must be equally comfortable discussing social media strategy and enterprise journalism.
- Roll-up-the-sleeves work ethic and a pragmatic, results-oriented approach, with a commitment to continuous improvement and a high level of comfort with ambiguity and rapid rates of change.
- Ability to communicate with credibility and respect to staff members, other colleagues, and external audiences. Must be a good listener who blends a consultative approach with a confident decision-making style.
- Clear appreciation for EPE’s mission and a readiness to enthusiastically advance its work.
- Unquestionable integrity, credibility, and character; demonstrated high standards of moral, ethical, and professional behavior. High emotional intelligence.
- Ability to be effective in a matrixed environment.
- Business acumen and ability to produce content on time and on budget.
Experience and Education
- 12+ years of relevant work experience in a media organization with increasing levels of success and responsibility, including 6+ years of experience at management levels.
- Strong background in news, with an explanatory and public-service orientation preferred. Related public-service experience a plus.
- Significant record of accomplishment in media leadership, particularly across the digital space.
- Bachelor’s degree.
If interested, please send cover letter and resume to Koller Search Partners as follows: Karen Danziger, Managing Partner, firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPE is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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