The Connecticut News Project, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization located in Hartford, is seeking a CEO / Publisher to leverage its stellar reputation and capitalize on its tremendous opportunities for growth.
The mission of The Connecticut News Project is "to increase the level of civic engagement among the state’s residents so that they can more effectively participate in the development of public policy and hold public officials accountable for understanding and addressing the state’s needs."
With the goal of providing Connecticut residents with critical, in-depth news coverage of state and federal politics and policy decisions that affect them, The Connecticut News Project, Inc. was established in July 2009.
The organization’s founders launched the CT Mirror, a Hartford-based, award-winning online news site, in 2010. The CT Mirror’s founders identified an unfilled need for robust, insightful, non-partisan news reporting, and charged CT Mirror journalists with delving beneath the surface of current issues and legislative decisions, to disclose their origins, intentions and impact. Through their coverage, CT Mirror’s journalists provide the context, nuance and detail needed to understand the underlying issues.
The CT Mirror prides itself on its enterprising journalism and efforts to broaden the perspectives of the general population. Its reporters articulate multiple perspectives on current issues. This information has proven highly useful to the news outlet’s many readers including state and local legislators and public officials, the business and nonprofit communities and opinion leaders.
In recent years, The Connecticut News Project has introduced initiatives such as issue-focused conferences, public speaking engagements by its reporters, and house party fund- and friend-raising events. Its reporters have been featured widely in the state’s media as experts in their fields. In the past year, it added two new “verticals”: TrendCT (a site for data reporting and analysis) and CT Viewpoints (to showcase the varied perspectives of state residents). Through paid syndication agreements, its content is carried in major Connecticut newspapers. A daily alert of news articles is sent to approximately 6,500 individuals. The future holds far more opportunities in audience expansion for its new publisher.
Because of its highly regarded work among Connecticut news media, foundations and individuals have generously funded the CT Mirror, enabling it to attain its initial objectives. Since 2010, The Connecticut News Project has enjoyed support from The Connecticut Health Foundation, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund and others. As The Connecticut News Project chooses its next leader, its strong reputation presents a significant opportunity. It continues to occupy a unique position among Connecticut media as it enters the next stage of its growth.
The organization’s growth-focused board now includes 11 members who bring broad expertise and represent professional networks in the areas of publishing, business, foundations, nonprofit management, academia and state government. There is a committed and talented staff of nine.
Strategic Opportunities and Challenges
The Connecticut News Project is at a pivotal point in its development as it considers how to strategically leverage its solid reputation with opportunities for expansion and innovation. CT Mirror journalists are highly regarded for their neutrality, thoroughness, insight and clarity. At this time, their reporting focuses on education, health and healthcare, the Connecticut State Budget, the environment and state politics and legislative activity. On-staff data specialists further enhance already powerful articles with graphic displays of information. Additionally, with a Washington DC correspondent on staff, The Connecticut News Project is the only Connecticut-based media outlet with full-time coverage in the nation’s capitol. Among readers, the CT Mirror is so highly valued that some have said that there would be “a gaping hole” if it ceased to exist.
Over the next two years, The Connecticut News Project intends to augment its highly effective journalism and achieve even greater statewide relevance and visibility. Expanded coverage and reporting may include the areas of business, criminal justice and transportation. Clearly, there are exciting opportunities for growth.
The opportunities offered to the next CEO/Publisher of The Connecticut News Project include:
- Guiding the growth of the CT Mirror‘s audience and visibility
- Enhancing the social media presence and online identity
- Exploring innovative ways to use developing digital technology
- Increasing the number of syndication partners
- Establishing a long range fund development plan
The Ideal Candidate
The Connecticut News Project is seeking an entrepreneurial leader with broad-based executive level management experience. The ideal candidate comes from a background in nonprofit organization management and has a practical understanding of the field of print or online journalism. The organization seeks a sound hands-on operations manager with proven experience overseeing and growing programs and budgets. The ideal candidate is highly emotionally intelligent and can effectively initiate and maintain strong relationships with staff, funders and board members. Serving as the public face of The Connecticut News Project, the ideal candidate has a genuine passion for community engagement, partnership building and fundraising. The successful candidate will have the technical competency necessary to manage an online news site, strong written and oral communications skills and a deep respect and appreciation for excellent journalism.
Of all the skills, attributes and experience sought in the next CEO / Publisher of The Connecticut News Project, the following will be paramount to his or her success:
As the public face and spokesperson for the organization, the successful candidate will be a skilled communicator who has (or will pursue) relevant knowledge of the pre-eminent issues facing the State of Connecticut, and who understands the ethics and business side of journalism. The ability to implement identified goals, objectives and strategies for the organization’s growth and development, while working effectively with the board of directors and being accountable and responsive to it is of the utmost importance. The successful candidate will have a history of successful partnership building, skills in overseeing a complex organization and will value innovation and community engagement.
Planning and Management
The organization seeks a candidate with skills in nonprofit management, fiscal planning, program management and operational oversight, including financial and personnel systems and grants management.
Fundraising, Community Relations and Partnership Building
The ideal candidate will have enjoyed success in fundraising in previous positions (including donor development and grants management), and in building strong, mutually-supportive partnerships.
The search is being conducted by Third Sector New England’s Consulting and Executive Transitions Program with Transition Consultant Cathy J. Cohen. All submissions are confidential.
Please include a cover letter with salary requirements, where you learned of the position and a description of how your qualifications and experience match The Connecticut News Project’s needs. Only electronic submissions sent through this link will be considered.
Submission of candidacy will be accepted until the position is filled, with priority given to submissions received by March 7, 2016.
Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget.
The Connecticut News Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer and actively seeks a diverse pool of candidates.