November  28, 2021
  New Media





Executive Editor

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Executive Editor REF#: JG31591
Canada's National Observer
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posted: October 21, 2021
Deadline: November 30, 2021
Salary: $125k to $140k


The Organization
Founded in March 2015 by Linda Solomon Wood, Canada’s National Observer (CNO) is an award-winning digital publication that specializes in investigative and solutions reporting, in-depth features, daily news and analysis.

Owned by Observer Media Group, we are the country’s most trusted voice for climate journalism, with a growing and engaged audience of 7 million readers over the last year.

Our reporting team has a reputation for punching above its weight and setting the agenda with investigations that bring about change in both the public and private sectors.

CNO made history in May 2017 as the first digital-only news site ever to win a prestigious National Newspaper Award for reporting on the Canada's fourth wealthiest family, the Irvings of New Brunswick. We also won an investigative reporting award from the Canadian Association of Journalists in 2017 for a series on a conflict-of-interest scandal at Canada's federal pipeline regulator that resulted in a suspension of hearings and multiple recusals of senior executives. Observer Media Group has received 36 nominations and awards for our journalism.

Making history again, this investigation landed CNO as a finalist for the Michener Awards, one of the highest honours in Canadian journalism. We were the first online-only publication ever to receive a Michener citation of merit from the governor general at Rideau Hall.
Our Mission & Values
We believe knowledge is essential in a public that depends on journalists to bring them accurate, timely information. This information provides people with the wherewithal to make important decisions and to engage with society's challenges. We believe in the power of investigative reporting to improve the lives of Canadians. We ask hard questions, check facts, reveal and correct mistakes when we make them, and listen to feedback from our audience.

We aspire to make our publication gender-balanced, to give women and those identified as nonbinary or LGBTQ a voice as sources and as subjects of stories, and to have our sources, subjects and images reflect Canada's BIPOC communities. We recognize that we do not always live up to our own aspirations and regularly discuss how to make improvements. We are ambitious about our work as a journalism organization.

We believe in climate action now, in challenging the status quo, and in focusing resources on stories that move the dial.

Our environment is entrepreneurial. Our culture is nimble, innovative and fresh, more of a start-up than legacy media company and we are aiming to take risks that keep us on the cutting edge.  Our leadership needs to be tech-savvy and design centric, understanding the powerful role tech and design can play in supporting and enhancing journalism today. They also need to be eager to push our brand out into the world through social media, speaking engagements, media hits, and other public-facing opportunities.

The Position
This is a unique opportunity in a dynamic digital media organization serving a growing and highly valued community.  We are seeking a strong strategic, experienced and innovative Executive Editor to join CNO’s leadership team. The Executive Editor must have a track record of leading and producing powerful journalism that changes lives and consistently turns occasional readers into loyal subscribers.

The Executive Editor will be good at bridging business and editorial, shifting between strategy and execution. They will drive CNO forward into the future, assigning stories with an eye to what will engage with audiences, generate subscribers, and build the brand. The Executive Editor will continue CNO’s long history of breaking out of the box and leading the pack.

As a key partner on the leadership team, the Executive Editor possesses excellent people skills and managerial experience – a kind, compassionate professional who puts people first and understands the complexities of managing a growing organization filled with journalists who love to question authority.

In sum, the Executive Editor is a strong communicator and collaborator, as well as someone who understands how to inspire and lead through community engagement, social media and other platforms. They bring impeccable journalism credentials, outstanding leadership skills, and a keen grasp of the ever-changing digital space, including a strong knowledge of storytelling. They are an innovator who is excited to explore new editorial and commercial formats that will continue CNO as leader in digital publishing.


Development & Strategy
  • Strategize and bring ideas to expand coverage and build revenue. Lead CNO into new areas that will dramatically develop new audiences.
  • Build on CNO’s focus in Canadian politics and society while cultivating new coverage areas such as cross-border (USA-Canada) and international (EU).
  • Lead the planning and oversee execution of content strategies with a keen eye focused on strategic audiences. Special emphasis is placed on digital and other new platforms. Creativity and an ability to develop and execute innovative approaches are essential.
  • Collaborate with managing editors on the development and implementation of multi-platform content to grow audience and engagement.
  • Make measurable contributions to the achievement of audience goals on all platforms.
  • Deliver a commerce strategy, balancing a budget, working with revenue targets.
  • Champion management efforts that include strong communication of the company’s strategic initiatives.
  • Represent CNO in the media, on panels, and at events.
Content & Editorial
  • Conceptualize and execute compelling, thought-provoking, conversation-generating features and editorial packages across digital platforms.
  • Provide support and input when needed to managing editors who are managing daily news and various special magazine-style pieces.
  • An excellent, compelling, writer with a strong voice who will pitch in by writing letters to readers and reviewing marketing and advertising copy to make it better.
  • Confidently push forward CNO’s inclusivity mandate in terms of the people we work with and the stories we tell.
  • Ensure the newsroom’s budgets are managed according to operational needs and priorities.
  • Recognize outstanding reporting and cultivate new writers of high calibre to contribute great journalism.
  • Identify, recruit and nurture relationships with an inclusive roster of freelance talent, both up-and-coming and established.
  • Act as a supportive force for everyone in the organization. Inspire as a leader while respecting others and their roles; turn to management consultants for help in navigating difficult situations.
  • Excited to set goals and work with the team on achieving them.  Lead and guide reporters/managers effectively.
  • Maintain an inclusive, collaborative, transparent and fun work culture.


  • Minimum 10 years of editorial and management experience in a media organization.
  • Understanding of the changing media landscape and ability to adapt strategies that address market and consumer needs and desires.
  • Experience in delivering against commercial and audience targets.
  • A deep knowledge and commitment to the issues of the environment and climate change.
  • Ability to successfully execute operational management and contribute to strategic planning.
  • A deep understanding of SEO, with experience with the use of data analytics to increase engagement and readership.
  • Ability to interpret audience insights to inform coverage decisions and meet goals.
  • A keen eye for powerful visuals that will engage audiences, particularly what will distinguish CNO. Knows how to package a story.
  • A dynamic leader with a track record of inspiring a team, with experience in mentoring and supporting journalists.
  • An excellent headline writer who knows how to generate pageviews, reader excitement, and subscribers.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; ability to communicate professionally across the organization.
  • An understanding of journalistic ethics and commitment to upholding high ethical standards.
  • Undergraduate degree in Journalism or related communications field, or equivalent experience.
  • Prepared to work with a union. Experience would be an asset.
  • A passion for journalism that tackles the climate emergency through investigative reporting and solutions.
  • The ability to see how every topic can be viewed through a climate lens: technology, popular culture, lifestyle, even sports---as well as politics, and policy.
  • An appreciation of our mission and a readiness to enthusiastically advance our impact.
  • An ambitious editor who wants to “make their mark" on the world, expand our influence, and grow audiences.
  • A strategic thinker with a creative and entrepreneurial mindset.
  • A champion of diversity – with the understanding that diversity includes everyone and drives customer and operational innovation.
  • Passion for management, mentorship and training of newsroom talent.
  • A commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Roll-up-the-sleeves work ethic and a pragmatic, results-oriented approach.

A competitive compensation package will be offered, complete with salary and health & dental benefits.

CNO is an equal-opportunity employer and committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We are committed to building and maintaining an inclusive work environment that reflects the diversity of the members we serve.

We encourage applications from all qualified candidates and equity seeking groups, including from racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous, Queer, Trans, and Disabled persons.

We thank applicants for their interest, however; only those advancing in the process will be contacted
How to Apply
We invite candidates to send your cover letter stating you found this job on Jeff Gaulin's Journalism Board and résumé to:

Searchlight Partners
Canada's National Observer

Web address:

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