Executive Editor

The Modesto Bee   Modesto, CA   Full-time     Writing / Editing
Posted on April 29, 2022
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Executive Editor, The Modesto Bee (2752)

McClatchy is seeking a creative, collaborative editor to lead The Modesto Bee.

As Executive Editor, you will work with a talented team of journalists to reach an ever-growing and increasingly diverse audience of readers, viewers and listeners in Modesto, California. This editor will play an integral role in accelerating The Modesto Bee’s digital transition, as we build a sustainable operation that produces accountability and investigative journalism, solutions-focused stories, utility news and information, and breaking news coverage that is first and best on the most important issues to our region and state.

The successful candidate will be a talented news leader who can draw the best work from our reporters, editors and visual journalists and drive newsroom collaboration. This person must have experience in newsroom transformation and be prepared to approach the role with fresh ideas about how to serve an audience that is diverse and dynamic.

As Executive Editor, you will lead the continued transformation of The Modesto Bee newsroom into a high-impact, audience-focused digital news operation consistent with McClatchy’s longstanding mission of independent, essential local news that serves the public. We are seeking an accomplished business leader with strong communication skills who can move quickly and creatively to drive engagement at all levels of the organization. The editor in this position should be eager to collaborate with colleagues at all levels of the organization and across the McClatchy enterprise.

Success in this role will be measured by the distinctive journalism produced by the newsroom, as well as audience and subscriber growth. This position requires a command of audience analytics and knowledge of the tactics that deliver results, as well as a desire to experiment with purpose, iterate and adjust as the news environment dictates. 

The Executive Editor will serve as the face of the newsroom in the community and will work to develop relationships and build community support to bolster the organization’s place within a competitive and collaborative news ecosystem. 

This editor will report to McClatchy’s Regional Editor for California.

Core competencies:

  • The proven ability to lead, inspire, and convey knowledge to others and to work effectively with a wide range of colleagues in managing change.

  • Strong interpersonal skills, including empathy and a superior ear for tone. 

  • Comfort with a job that will be demanding, fast-paced, constantly evolving, and more outcome-oriented than task-oriented.  

  • Skill and versatility as an editor and a writer, including the ability to shape everything from breaking news briefs to longform pieces in a way that best serves and engages our audiences. 

  • Excellent news judgment and a demonstrated ability to “see the story” that is going to matter to readers and to anticipate reader interests.

  • The ability to articulate and reinforce standards for ethics and professional conduct as well as journalistic excellence.

  • An interest in the science of readership and engagement and a zeal for understanding and using readership data to inform the editorial process. 

  • A focus on ensuring that our content and staffing represents the fullness of our community and the diversity of the people who live here. 

  • An interest in and aptitude for storytelling using a broad range of media, including the written word, video, photography, podcasts and other audio — and whatever comes next.

  • The ability to solve problems, innovate and adapt in service of the primary goal, which is to produce quality journalism that reaches and engages readers and subscribers and has an impact.

  • Entrepreneurial spirit focused on helping to identify and build new opportunities.

  • Enthusiasm for helping to build philanthropic and community support for the journalism we do. 

  • Strong working knowledge of media law and ethics.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in journalism

  • At least 3 years of experience as a successful leader of a newsroom or a large news team

  • Experience building successful teams and experimenting with purpose to better serve our local audiences.

Change is a central feature of a digital newsroom, and the next Modesto Bee Executive Editor must be both confident and conscientious in guiding a motivated newsroom to always keep our community’s interests at the heart of our journalism. If this is you, please apply.