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Opportunity Description
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Newspaper Design Director
Michigan
This role offers you the unique opportunity to manage the design of eight newspapers and get in on the ground floor of a dynamic media leader making major strides within the industry. As the Newspaper Design Director, or User Experience Director, you will report to the Executive Editor of Print, where you will work as our design guru.

This role offers you the unique opportunity to manage the design of eight newspapers and be the leader as they move aggressively into the area of digital platforms in order to bring readers our award-winning content via delivery methods they prefer. As the Newspaper Design Director, you will take the lead in the MLive Media Group’s Presentation Hub to package local content that originates from 10 local news hubs across Michigan.

We have recently changed our business model which has been a great initial success and we expect this to continue. If you're ready to bring your entrepreneurial energy and vision to make an impact on exciting initiatives in new digital media and cutting edge news delivery, this role could be a perfect fit.

MLive Media Group is an audience-first and distinctively digital media company encompassing all content, sales and marketing operations for all our digital and print properties in Michigan. This includes: MLive.com, The Grand Rapids Press, The Muskegon Chronicle, Kalamazoo Gazette, The Jackson Citizen Patriot, AnnArbor.com, The Flint Journal, The Saginaw News, The Bay City Times and the Advance Weeklies in Grand Rapids, as well as several related entities.

MLive Media Group is an audience-first, digitally focused media company encompassing all content, sales and marketing operations for: MLive.com, The Grand Rapids Press, The Muskegon Chronicle, Kalamazoo Gazette, The Jackson Citizen Patriot, The Ann Arbor News, The Flint Journal, The Saginaw News, The Bay City Times and the Advance Weeklies in Grand Rapids, as well as several related entities. In addition to being Michigan's #1 news and information provider, MLive Media Group is Michigan's largest local media advertising network, allowing advertisers to reach local audiences in communities across the state.

The Requirements

The ideal candidate for this role will have very strong design and publications experience. Additionally, to be a good fit for this opportunity you will have:
  • Passion for all things design.
  • A bachelor's degree or equivalent experience is preferred.
  • 5+ years of relevant newspaper and/or magazine design experience.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and presentation skills – written and verbal.
  • The ability to multi-task, handle pressure and work under deadlines.
  • Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite, including InDesign and Photoshop.Quick question for you - click here
  • The ability to self-direct and work effectively with varied levels, titles and compensation structures.
  • Strong managerial, organizational and analytical skills.
  • Solid corporate or company-wide experience, preferably in a dynamic, matrixed, multiple location organization. 
  • An assertive, goal-oriented and self-motivated personality.

The Role

As the Newspaper Design Director, your mission will be to take the design of MLive Media Group's eight-plus Michigan newspapers to the next level. Working out of our state-of-the-art hub (slated to be ready in January), you will be developing cutting-edge designs that can span print, digital and other emerging platforms. Quick question for you - click here
 
You will rely on your extensive background to elevate MLive Media Group’s design. A large part of your job will be to design page templates that can be easily used by page producers to build attractive, engaging pages. You’ll leverage the staff’s expertise in typography, design and other visual disciplines to elevate user experience above standard presentations. If you're a Creative Suite whiz, we'll look to you to mentor others as we transition to Creative Suite 6 in 2013. Just as important, you’ll help re-imagine newspaper conventions and develop smart, digitally aligned design solutions. Quick question for you - click here
 
More specifically, you will:
  • Supervise the User Experience design staff, including scheduling and training.
  • Help evolve, articulate and implement MLive's editorial design philosophy.
  • Review daily lineups and identify best user experience opportunities.
  • Manage core design: templates, style sheets, style guides, etc.
  • Serve as design coach for print Production Quality Team.
  • Continuously seek new tools and methods for maximizing user experience opportunities with minimal expense of staff time and money.
  • Produce pages as needed.
  • Coordinate with our Editorial Content Leader and Production Quality Leader to deliver results.Quick question for you - click here
Note: this description is intended to give you a general overview of the position and is not an exhaustive listing of duties and responsibilities.

MLive Media Group and Advance Central Services Michigan are Equal Opportunity Employers and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, physical or mental impairment, or any other category protected under federal, state or local law.

Why MLive

Exposure and impact: Working with our design team, employees and leadership across the organization and a variety of internal and external resources will allow you to gain invaluable exposure and visibility in this role. You’ll be able to take the lead, apply your experience and enjoy seeing the results of your efforts.

New challenges: This is an opportunity that will afford the feeling and excitement of a start-up, while also providing the stability of a large, established company. If you want a meaty role, we can assure you there will be a steady stream of challenges.  

Benefit from the changes to the way MLive Media Group does business:
  • Reimagined website: On February 2, 2012 MLive Media Group, Michigan’s premier news and media company, unveiled MLive.com, a reimagined website designed to set a new digital standard for how the people of Michigan seek and receive news and information. As President, Dan Gaydou, explains, "We are building upon our long record of journalistic excellence by innovating in dynamic new ways to meet our audiences where they are today and where they are going to be tomorrow.  The news and advertising landscape is changing fast and MLive Media Group is well-positioned to be responsive and adaptive to our audiences and advertisers across multiple platforms."
  • Platform changes: On that same day in February, home delivery schedules for newspapers in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Jackson began supplementing circulation with daily coverage through our e-editions (exact replicas of the newspaper) and MLive.com. Additionally, home delivered editions were expanded and enhanced. All four newspapers will continue to publish paper editions every day of the week, with single copies available at numerous store and rack locations in each market and also via e-editions customized for personal computers, tablets and smartphones.
  • Growth: While there is no end to the media stories suggesting that the newspaper business is stalling and even losing ground, what these stories neglect to mention is the growth in other platforms. Our newspaper circulation remains solid, while we're experiencing strong growth in alternative platforms. While you might think the industry is downsizing, the truth is that we have locations across the state including ten hubs (the newest, in Grand Rapids) and we're aggressively hiring to accommodate our growth. 
  • Competitive compensation: In addition to a competitive salary and bonus incentive, we offer a comprehensive benefits program.

Keys to Success

To excel in this role, you'll need the ability to work extremely well with people. You'll be surrounded by a strong creative group of graphic designers and copy editors, all working together to make our print editions the best they can be for presentation of the news on challenging deadlines. We'll expect you to be diplomatic, yet be able to back up your design ideas and decisions.
 
We are looking for someone who can handle situations and take a solutions-oriented approach to problem solving activities. This is a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment, and the people who excel within our company are flexible, results-driven and comfortable with change and ambiguity.
 
In addition, in order to be an exceptional User Experience Leader, you should be:
  • An impact player with the desire to make a difference and derive true satisfaction from achieving results. 
  • Able to assess situations quickly and accurately and recommend viable solutions.
  • Able to clearly link processes and procedures to organizational objectives and outcomes.
  • A strong role model, demonstrating a high energy and solutions-oriented approach.
  • Proactive and able to keep your "finger on the pulse" of the company.

About Us

The news and information world is changing, and we are confident MLive Media Group will provide great local news coverage to all our audiences in Michigan at their doorsteps, online and via mobile platforms. Our company’s philosophy is one of innovation and community engagement, measuring our shared success by that of our employees, advertisers, local communities and business partners alike.

MLive Media Group is Michigan's largest local media advertising network, allowing our advertisers to reach local audiences in communities across the state. Our company is staffed with the market's leading advertising consultants, specializing in print, online, and mobile marketing campaigns. We're here to deliver high quality news and information, and to help our advertising partners grow their businesses by reaching their customers through our comprehensive suite of marketing tools.
 
Providing MLive Media Group with measurable business results, Advance Central Services Michigan provides important support functions, allowing MLive Media Group to focus on developing new and innovative ways to deliver high quality news and information to its readers and quality products to its advertisers and stakeholders across multiple platforms.
 
Advance Central Services Michigan is responsible for all facets of prepress, production, printing, packaging, transportation, delivery and customer care for MLive Media Group publications – The Grand Rapids Press, The Muskegon Chronicle, Kalamazoo Gazette, The Jackson Citizen Patriot, The Flint Journal, The Saginaw News, The Bay City Times, Advance Weeklies and AnnArbor.com.

MLive Media Group and Advance Central Services Michigan are Equal Opportunity Employers and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, physical or mental impairment, or any other category protected under federal, state or local law.

MLive's Accolades

In October 2012, the Inland Press Association awarded MLive Media Group, launched in February 2012, first place for "Best Online Innovation."  The award is for all circulation categories, chosen from entries submitted by news organizations in the 1,200-member national association.

Here’s what the judges said: “MLive Media Group’s new approach to digital-first investigative reporting. Usually entries in this category concern creative presentation or new distribution approaches. The MLive entry is about an innovative approach to multiplatform journalism, and is our choice for first place. At a time when many news publications are eliminating their investigative teams and slashing headcount across the board, the 10 Advance Digital newspapers in the MLive Media Group have devised a new way to intensify daily reporting while expanding the reach of in-depth investigative reporting.

Statewide Projects Coordinator John Barnes assembles teams from around the state to work on investigative projects. This collaborative effort by previously independent publications produces impressive accountability results that none of the papers, alone, could sustain, and provides high-quality information to their communities.”
 
Additionally, MLive Media Group newspapers captured 32 awards in the 2012 Michigan Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. In addition, the company is a finalist in the categories of public service and best rookie writer. Those winners will be named in January 2013. The contest included 2,776 entries from 109 Michigan newspapers. First place awards were in the categories of spot news (The Grand Rapids Press), feature story (The Flint Journal), local columnist (The Muskegon Chronicle), news picture (The Press), sports writing (The Journal) and best web site (The Press).
 
MLive Media Group newspapers also took 13 second places, nine third places and four honorable mentions in a variety of categories. A statewide report that focused on juveniles in Michigan serving life sentences is among four finalists for the MPA Public Service Award. According to MPA, the award “recognizes a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or newspaper individual that has made a significant contribution to the betterment of their community.”
 
MLive Media Group offers a comprehensive benefits program that includes: medical, prescription drug, and dental benefits; a 401(k) Plan; life insurance and disability plans and commuter accounts.

MLive 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.

MLive Media Group endeavors to make its website 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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Are you legally authorized to work permanently in the United States for any employer without requiring a VISA transfer or VISA sponsorship?
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