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Opportunity Description
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Sports Reporter - LeBron James Beat
OH - Cleveland

Opportunity Snapshot

Bring your sports, news and investigative reporting experience to one of the most challenging reporting jobs in the country, covering the sports performance, business dealings and community leadership of basketball star LeBron James. You'll cover all aspects of his roles in Northeast Ohio and nationally as he returns to the Cleveland Cavaliers, writing, creating videos, and posting across multiple platforms including all relevant types of social media. You'll also participate in broadcasts where you discuss James, working closely with reporters assigned to cover the Cavaliers and the NBA.

We've created an entirely new media company, and we'll provide the resources to help you do the job well. If you are hungry to take on one of the most challenging and potentially rewarding reporting challenges, and if you've got the chops to write about basketball, business, charity and community, this could be the right role for you.

Northeast Ohio Media Group is a digitally focused company that operates cleveland.com and Sun News and is responsible for multimedia ad sales, marketing and content for The Plain Dealer, Sun News, and cleveland.com.

Northeast Ohio Media Group is a part of Advance Local, one of the largest media groups in the U.S. reaching more than 40 million consumers through its 12 local news and information websites that rank #1 among local media in their respective markets, and more than 30 newspapers. Our affiliated websites and newspapers are well known for their award-winning journalism. Advance Local is part of Advance Publications, along with Condé Nast and American City Business Journals.

The Requirements

To be a good fit for this opportunity you will have:
  • A bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communications, or a related field, or equivalent experience
  • Five or more years of reporting experience at a daily newspaper, television station or online news agency, with a proven ability in reporting and writing; a background covering professional basketball, business and is preferred
  • Proven experience building, maintaining and engaging an active audience through blogging, social media and online comments
  • Demonstrated experience breaking news in a beat environment in real time across multiple platforms
  • Mastery of all relevant social media platforms and experience with search engine optimization (SEO) practices
  • The ability to work independently under deadline pressure and prioritize tasks appropriately
  • An understanding of the imperatives of multiple platforms (print, mobile, Internet, etc.) and a proven ability to utilize a broad set of tools to tell stories and engage the audience
  • Experience in taking photographs, producing short videos and posting them to the web and other internal production systems
  • An understanding of the methods and tools used to deliver content across a variety of platforms such as a content management system, smartphones, and more
  • The ability to leverage relationships with sources to deliver content that differentiates the organization from competitors
  • An understanding of and willingness to remain informed about industry advances and to proactively consider new methods of reaching audiences
You will need to be flexible enough to work many nights and weekends, particularly during basketball season, and to travel across the nation to cover games.

The Role

You’ll be the expert on LeBron James and what he means to Northeast Ohio, working from home, the road, coffee shops and our Cleveland office, analyzing and reporting on James’ personal sports statistics, his mentoring of younger players and his relationship with his coaches as well as his non-basketball forays in business, entertainment and other enterprises. We are looking for someone who can react to breaking news quickly and with skill, and who is resourceful in finding information about a sports star who often is inaccessible

We are looking to develop an entirely new approach to game coverage, providing information in the most accessible format possible, so your creativity will be key in designing the new coverage.

Most of your time will be spent interviewing and interacting with sources; monitoring social media streams for breaking news; creating videos of yourself, players, and coaches to post; writing blog posts; and creating in-depth stories.

You’ll also appear regularly on a variety of video shows produced by the Northeast Ohio Media Group, where you will engage with the audience in dissecting James’ on-court performance and handicapping upcoming contests. On-air experience would be helpful, but at a minimum you need to be excited to talk about the team, and able to provide some level of extemporaneous opinion and analysis as an expert on the topic.

Some of your specific responsibilities will include:
  • Gathering information and writing journalistically sound news elements for use across multiple media platforms
  • Learning and employing techniques for effective digital "beat-blogging" reporting across all platforms including:
  • Frequent, incremental posting throughout the day
  • Story aggregation and topical link-posting
  • Monitoring and engaging in reader comment streams on impact pages
  • Elevating comments into new posts when appropriate
  • Interacting on social media platforms with story shares, objective commentary, promotion of your topic and our content
  • Understanding and employing the means for monitoring audience interest and competitors’ posting on your topic, including setting up Google alerts, Twitter and RSS feeds
  • Providing opinion and analysis as the authoritative voice for Cavaliers basketball coverage
  • Using hardware, software and cloud-based equipment and systems for direct-to-web production and engagement
  • Making appearances on television and radio as a team expert
Note: this description is intended to give you a general overview of the position and is not an exhaustive listing of duties and responsibilities.

Keys to Success

To excel in this role, you’ll need to have experience in major professional or college reporting, general news reporting with a history of mining public records for information as well as refined digital skills. You will come into the role ready to be a digital leader, particularly in social media, and already trained in the use of all relevant platforms.

We are looking for someone who can convey the excitement generated by of one of the country's highest-profile athletes and stay on top of news related to him and his performance. Building readership in a competitive environment will require that you continually strive to be the fastest and best at breaking news. If you have strong sports- and news-writing experience, thrive on competition, and have a hunger to work on a premier beat in a one of the nation's great sports cities, then we want to hear from you!
Northeast Ohio Media Group offers a comprehensive benefits program that includes: medical, prescription drug, vision, and dental benefits; a 401(k) Plan; life insurance and disability plans and commuter accounts.

Northeast Ohio Media Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, physical or mental impairment, sexual orientation or any other category protected under federal, state or local law.

Northeast Ohio Media Group endeavors to make cleveland.com accessible to any and all users. If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact tdavis@dtoolbox.com.
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Resume Supplement
Please take a few minutes to answer questions about your background and expertise specific to the Sports Reporter - LeBron James Beat position.

Question Yes No Comment
Do you have five or more years of sports reporting experience at a daily newspaper, television station or online news or sports agency-covering professional basketball or a major college basketball program?
Do you have experience covering the NBA?
Do you have a non-compete, restrictive covenant or any other type of employment agreement with your current or former employer that would have any affect on your ability to work for a new employer?
Are you legally authorized to work permanently in the United States for any employer without requiring a VISA transfer or VISA sponsorship?
Do you have a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Communications or a related field, or equivalent experience?
Do you currently live within a reasonable and realistic commuting distance from Cleveland, OH (or are you willing to relocate)?
Question / Choice Comment
How many years of experience do you have working as a news reporter and writer for a daily newspaper, television station or online news or sports agency?
Which digital media platforms do you have experience working with?
What is your base of knowledge in sports?
Which social media platforms have you utilized in your professional journalistic career?
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