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Executive Director

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The Real News Network seeks an Executive Director to manage the overall operations, including Administration, Fundraising, and the Digital and Studio teams. The Executive Director will work collaboratively with the Editor in Chief (who is responsible for content creation and journalistic decisions) to provide coherent, strategic, team aligned and effective operation of this critical institution.

The Real News Network is an online, nonprofit news organization that is supported solely by individual donations and grants. We do not accept corporate or government funding. Our budget is in excess of $3 million and we have a full, part-time and freelance staff in excess of 30. While the majority of our staff are located in our studio/office space in Baltimore, Maryland, we also have team members across the US, in Canada and in Europe (future goals may include a physical presence in places like Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean). We publish across digital platforms and we have broadcast partners as well. Our primary output is video, though we also publish in print and audio formats. We produce both interview and analysis pieces from our Baltimore studio, and produce stories from reporters and freelancers in the field. Our primary outlet is YouTube, where we have approximately 350,000 subscribers. We are a union shop. Our staff is organized under the Communications Workers of America.

The Real News Network is not just another media organization. We have particular progressive values entrenched in our editorial positioning, and we believe we take up a unique space in the media landscape. Among our values and editorial stances are the significance of class, race, gender and social justice.  They are integrated into our coverage (and staffing). Two central, current focuses of our work are the 2020 elections and the climate crisis.

We are looking for an experienced, committed administrator with demonstrated ability to organize and guide staff, and provide direction in infrastructure and development/fundraising areas, and help us continue to grow our significance and effectiveness in serving our mission.

Our chosen Executive Director will have a complete set of management skills in supervision, finance, fundraising and strategy.

Together the Staff and Board of The Real News Network have created the profile of the ideal leader. We will consider and select our Executive Director from among candidates with the following skills, experience and personal characteristics.

People Manager/Team Management: A selected candidate will be an experienced, results-oriented manager of staff who:
  • Is expert at and enjoys the team building aspects of the Executive Director role;
  • Demonstrates strong internal, collegial relationship skills;
  • Has deep experience with supervising a staff;
  • Has proven skill and commitment to staff professional development and growing the skills and presence of staff members, especially those early in their professional careers;
  • Is not a micromanager; and
  • Has skill and a record of effectiveness in Finance and Operations, and a complete set of all other internal management skills and experience.

Problem Solving and Decision Making: TRNN seeks an expert decision-maker, who:
  • Has the ability to prioritize and determine the significance of a particular issue;
  • Understands who to include (staff, Boardor external expertise) in the problem-solving process;
  • Knows what and how much information is needed;
  • Is able to effectively analyze and use data in the decision-making process;
  • Makes decisions in a timely matter;
  • Is good at follow-through, and can clearly communicate decisions;
  • Designs and administers effective execution, with appropriate pre-determined success measures and time-posts; and
  • Has a level of personal strength and operational focus to stick by decisions and/or know when a change of direction is needed.

Communication: A persuasive and passionate communicator with outstanding interpersonal skills, who:
  • Is inspiring and respectful, connecting in and earnest and real way with staff, the Board and a culturally diverse public;
  • Has a high level of emotional intelligence in communicating with people, including ability to flex their style depending on the individual/group and situation, to maximize effectiveness of communication;
  • Has comfort with and command of the full range of communication skills, including speaking, writing, social media and presentation; and
  • Is an effective spokesperson.

Fundraising: Excited about generating financial resources for TRNN. Effective fundraiser with demonstrated track record, knowledgeable of and expert at the ED role in fundraising and resource development. Our ideal leader will:
  • Be strong as a mission spokesperson and in the relationship management aspects of fundraising;
  • Be skilled and effective at conceptualizing and communicating powerful ideas in writing and in person that result in generating significant unrestricted and project funds that support the mission of TRNN;
  • Have experience with, overall knowledge and understanding of the range of potential resource streams for TRNN, including grants, membership and major giving;
  • Have a personal track record of generating significant gifts;
  • Have demonstrated ability and creativity to continue to grow our organizational fundraising capacity (Board and Staff) as well as diversify our income streams.

Industry Knowledge: Our expectation is to attract a person with an expert level of media knowledge including trends in technology and consumption of media. We are looking for a leader who:
  • Is technologically competent themselves and is knowledgeable of and engaged with dynamics, consumption and trends in the online media environment, including online news organizations, social media as well as video and multimedia production;
  • Is a profound and engaged consumer of and participant in journalism and media, both heritage and online; and
  • Our preferred candidate is knowledgeable about issues related to nonprofit organizations.
  • Strategic Focus: Powerful understanding of and use of strategy in organizational life and:
  • Is knowledgeable of (or able to quickly learn) dynamics affecting the current and future environment of TRNN, including the impact of these dynamics on operations, and is able to effectively generate changes in direction for TRNN in response to changes in the environment;
  • Has highly developed skill at prioritizing, and accomplished at sequencing change;
  • Is data driven: networks with and benchmarks other organizations to increase TRNN’s effectiveness;
  • Is able to continuously develop, execute and evaluate strategic and business plans, in concert with other stakeholders, and to champion strategic perspectives.

Leadership: We seek an experienced passionate, resilient, anti-racist, inspiring and mission-driven individual, with:
  • A mature, demonstrated set of leadership skills and abilities;
  • Demonstrated commitment to, and a track record of creating inclusivity and equity in workplaces and in the world;
  • Demonstrated skill at growing and maintaining a positive, aligned internal culture in organizational life to help keep TRNN improving in effectiveness and service to our mission;
  • Experience serving on and preferably for Boards of Directors, and who can help maintain and grow the effectiveness of the TRNN Board;
  • Great people skills, and who puts the mission and success of TRNN first, is politically savvy and is a powerful advocate for staff, stakeholders and the organization itself; and who
  • Is expert at conflict management – skilled at internally generating helpful, and minimizing unhelpful conflict.

Integrity: TRNN’s most important asset is the trust our audience and donors have in our organization. The TRNN Executive Director will be a courageous, ethical person with strong self-awareness, who:
  • Has clear, high standards for him- or herself;
  • Speaks truth;
  • Understands and practices confidentiality when called for; and
  • Maintains organizational and financial transparency.

Journalistic Expertise: While the focus of this position is leading and growing the effectiveness and efficiency of our overall organization including administratively and in the fundraising area, our ideal candidate will:
  • Have deep commitment to and knowledge about the importance of journalism in empowering people and society and helping maintain and grow justice in the world;
  • Understand and help maintain the firewall between the editorial and business aspects of the organization to maintain editorial independence and help ensure financial considerations do not play a role in the stories we choose to cover or the treatment of those stories;
  • Have experience working in a journalistic enterprise;
  • Be an active, avid consumer of journalistic information.

Community Relationships: Our next leader will be great at engaging and enrolling, and have a track record of creating and growing individual relationships and partnerships with other groups and organizations, who:
  • Understands and practices community engagement in organizational life and can demonstrate personal engagement in communities where they’ve lived;
  • Is warm and compassionate, and able to effectively flex style and connect with a wide range of individuals and stakeholders;
  • Is committed to and skilled at collaboration, and can effectively communicate the importance of partnerships in growing the impact and effectiveness of TRNN.

Duties of the Executive Director:
  • Budget formulation;
  • Formulation and implementation of internal controls;
  • Hiring and firing of staff, determination of staff compensation and supervision of all HR issues;
  • Negotiating on behalf of TRNN with the collective bargaining unit;
  • Formulation of social media strategy and supervision of social media staff;
  • Supervision of TRNN fundraising;
  • Instructing TRNN legal counsel in regard to TRNN’s legal needs – for example, enforcement of copyright;
  • Building collegiality among TRNN personnel;
  • Management of income-earning activities other than fundraising (e.g studio rental, the relationship with Ida B’s);
  • Digital media strategy;
  • Supervision of studio director.

Minimum Qualifications: Ten years organizational and supervisory experience, preferably at a media/journalism organization.

To Apply: TRNN has retained Livingston Associates to assist in this search. For consideration, please visit http://liv.jobs and submit a letter of introduction including your vision for the future of TRNN and why you will be the ideal person to lead the organization in achieving that vision, as well as a resume and contact information for a minimum of three professional references.

Date for full consideration: January 5, 2020

Inquiries are welcome. Contact Livingston Associates at (410) 243-1974.

TRNN is committed to fostering diversity of our staff. Members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.