Crosscut has two exciting job openings, and maybe you can help pass the word. We are hiring a new publisher/CEO to oversee the company's growth and new directions, as well as a new editor. Details on the Jobs at Crosscut page. We have a goodly number of good applicants, so we are keeping the applications open for another two weeks, ending Jan. 1, 2011.
An online journalism site hiring? In the recession? Strange but true, so let me explain this happy turn of events.
Crosscut.com is published by Crosscut Public Media, a nonprofit organization dedicated to non-partisan local journalism for the public good. We have been fortunate in generous foundation support for the coming two years, as well as support from our reader/members, advertisers, and sponsors. After three and a half years, Crosscut has achieved a significant, loyal, and influential audience, with significant growth in the past half year.
Accordingly, the board and I feel confident in making a significant investment in growing and improving the site; and these new people make it possible for me, as founder, to step back from so many day-to-day responsibilities. I will stay as chair of the Crosscut board, helping with fundraising and some new projects, but will turn over the business direction of the company to a new publisher/CEO. The full board will be the search committee for the new CEO, with board member Barry Mitzman as chair of the committee. (Other board members are: Gene Carlson, Chuck Sitkin, Michael Vaska, Bill Ruckelshaus, Carol Lewis, and Jerry Grinstein.)
On the editing side, our current deputy editor, Joe Copeland, will be moving up to a new position as community editor, with an emphasis on adding new (often unheard) voices to the site, working with other nonprofits to increase ways for our readers to help solve social problems they read about on Crosscut, and directing some in-depth reporting projects where the public needs large amounts of information and data because of important public decisions about to be taken. This project, in turn, is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, partnering with The Seattle Foundation.
That new assignment for Joe begins in January so we are looking for a new editor to start about that time and be the leader of the editorial team. Associate editor Michele Matassa Flores remains as a key member of the editing team. I'll continue to lend a hand in editing and writing, but step back enough to let the team shape a new and expanded Crosscut. Joe, Michele, and I will be the search committee for the new editor.
Finding a sustainable financial model for a site like Crosscut is still a challenge. The model we are following, with multiple sources of revenue (members, foundations, advertisers, underwriters, events, possibly syndication or other ways of charging for specialized content), seems to be finding success in several other cities. The new position of Publisher/CEO involves addressing several significant business challenges — general interest (as opposed to niche), local (as opposed to big numbers on a national scale), public-interest journalism (as opposed to click-happy pandering), and pluralistic in points of view (as opposed to partisan echo-chambers).
I love the continuing challenge of figuring this out, but I also know that more web-savvy folks than I are crucial to making this work. (And simply having more folks working on all of this will help.) So I hope that, with terrific people in these two leadership positions, Crosscut will be able to grow faster, and smarter.
Crosscut is a terrific place to work. The staff is outstanding, our writers are tremendously talented and stimulating coworkers, and our splendid new digs in Pioneer Square are a delight (as is our new neighborhood). So I hope you, our shrewd and demanding readers, will think of some very good people who might want to apply. I'm told there are some talented folks in journalism out there looking for work! Tell them that their prayers are answered.
And thanks to all of you fine readers and supporters and donors who have made this leap forward possible. I welcome your comments and suggestions. As we are coming to realize in this crisis in American journalism, it takes a community to make the new media. That would be us, all of us!