Executive Editor

Help lead The Des Moines Register and the USA TODAY NETWORK’s Plains region in agenda-setting journalism, community engagement experiences and industry-leading innovation.

The Des Moines Register is Iowa’s largest and most influential news organization, with 16 Pulitzer prizes and recent national awards that include an Edward R. Murrow and National Press Foundation achievement. The Register is known for its political coverage that includes being a national leader in Iowa caucuses coverage, investigative journalism that has changed laws and held officials accountable, and a strong editorial voice that provokes thought and drives conversation.

Des Moines is Iowa’s rapidly growing capital city, with a downtown in the midst of a building boom. The city is a hub of government action, business activity and cultural affairs, with a metro population of 569,633. The area boasts a downtown sculpture garden and skating rink, Riverwalk and recreational trails that connect with others Central Iowa trails, and a blossoming urban neighborhood of lofts, shops and restaurants. Des Moines remains a comfortably sized metro area with reasonable commutes and ranks as one of the top places to live nationally. And every July, thousands of visitors descend on the state for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), the world’s oldest and largest recreational bike ride – and just one of the many popular events hosted annually by the Register.

The successful candidate for this positon will supervise the award-winning Register newsroom, as well as serve as Regional Editor/Plains for the USA TODAY NETWORK, which includes Iowa City, Iowa; Fort Collins, Colorado; Springfield, Missouri; Great Falls, Montana; St. Cloud, Minnesota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Baxter, Arkansas. In this role, the editor will work closely with the Executive Regional Editor/West, coordinating coverage, elevating local journalism and participating in projects across the USA TODAY NETWORK.

The successful candidate has impeccable journalism credentials, outstanding leadership skills, and a keen grasp of the ever-changing digital space, including a strong knowledge of video storytelling. This position is devoted to leading outstanding public service journalism, guiding the continuing transformation in delivery of news and information and audience engagement, developing new approaches to grow our reach among targeted segments across all platforms and achieving newsroom performance metrics. The individual is people focused, has high standards, remains focused on the most important priorities and opportunities, and easily shifts between strategy and execution. Additionally, the executive editor serves as a trusted strategic partner throughout the organization and as a trustworthy leader in the community. This position reports to the executive regional editor for the west for the USA TODAY NETWORK and works closely with the president in Des Moines.

Leadership – Leading with Foresight

  • Uphold the highest standards of journalistic integrity and credibility
  • Provide exemplary leadership in developing and executing the strategic vision.
  • Provide leadership and be knowledgeable in state and local news, investigative journalism, public service, and government issues.
  • Champion change management efforts that include strong communication of the company’s strategic initiatives, purpose, vision, culture and plan.
  • Utilize organizational development strategies in designing structure that inspires high performance.
  • 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.
  • Facilitate strong community connections with a relevant editorial voice and personal interaction.

People Management & Development

  • Attract, retain and develop top talent.
  • Understand and execute work/life balance strategies for employees.
  • Be a champion of diversity – with the understanding that diversity includes everyone and drives customer and operational innovation.
  • Manage for results in a metrics-driven environment.

Product & Content

  • Uphold the highest journalism standards across digital and print platforms, strongly support the First Amendment and conceive, pursue and execute watchdog reporting.
  • Develop and implement a multi-platform digital vision and strategy focused on achieving target audience specific goals and objectives.
  • Collaborate with other departments in the development and implementation of multi-platform products to grow audience and engagement.
  • Utilize multiple and diverse sources (individuals, disciplines, bodies of knowledge) for ideas and inspiration.
  • Ensure the newsroom’s operational and news hole budgets are managed according to operational needs and priorities in accordance with the President.

Measurements of Success

  • Impactful journalism that helps improve our community and makes a difference in our readers’ lives.
  • Fulfillment of purpose in serving our state and communities with a diverse workforce.
  • Participation in creation of successful products that meet the needs of consumers.
  • Measurable contributions to the achievement of audience goals on all platforms.


  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher.
  • Minimum of five years in significant leadership roles in a Newsroom with demonstrated success.
  • Clear understanding of the First Amendment and the highest regard for upholding those standards.
  • Experience in high-level decision-making with complex, impactful or sensitive news content.
  • Experience working in industries undergoing substantial change and transformation.
  • A history of successful leadership, innovation and goal achievement.
  • Demonstrated change leader who collaborates and communicates effectively.
  • Personal charisma, comfortable with public speaking and a commitment to staff interaction.
  • Understanding of the changing media landscape and ability to adapt strategies that address continually changing market and consumer needs and desires.
  • Demonstrated strong competitive instincts and intellectual curiosity.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage and coordinate in an environment of accountability.
  • Demonstrated track record in recruiting a highly successful leadership team highly desirable.
  • Experience driving a successful turnaround or transformation highly desirable.


The USA TODAY NETWORK is the largest local to national media network in the country. Powered by integrated and award-winning news organizations with deep roots in 109 local communities, plus USA TODAY, the multiplatform news network informs and engages more than 100 million people every month through its diverse portfolio of digital, mobile, and publishing products. To connect with us, visit http://www.gannett.com/

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is a proud equal opportunity employer. We are a drug free, EEO employer committed to a diverse workforce. We will consider all qualified candidates regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, family responsibilities, disability, education, political affiliation or veteran status.

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