Executive Editor - Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Free Press, one of the nation's premier news organizations with 10 Pulitzer Prizes and multiple Emmy Awards, is seeking a dynamic and transformational leader to serve as its executive editor.

The successful candidate will be a seasoned news executive who can articulate a strategic vision for the future of the Free Press while setting and executing coverage priorities. This person will have the skills to both raise the quality level of the journalism and increase the new organization's considerable digital reach. The right candidate will have a proven track record of high-impact investigative editing and innovation in storytelling across multiple platforms.

We are looking for someone with expertise in multiple areas of coverage – investigative, national, politics, life, sports, business and more – as well as emerging media, mobile, social media and video strategy, and use of data to drive engagement and traffic. Applicants should have a clear understanding of how to target specific audiences and how to effectively engage readers in the digital space and in person. The right candidate will have the experience and ability to assess structure, personnel and technological needs, and to make necessary changes. The editor will collaborate across the USA TODAY Network, which encompasses USA TODAY and 109 local news brands, including news organizations in Lansing, Battle Creek, Port Huron and Livingston County.

The Free Press, the largest newsgathering staff in the state, has a strong legacy of investigative journalism and is a leader in autos coverage and breaking news. The Big Three automakers and high-profile professional sports teams are within its coverage area, and storylines range from the city's renaissance to changes throughout the region.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Uphold the highest journalism standards across digital and print platforms, strongly support the First Amendment and conceive, pursue and execute watchdog reporting.
  • Provide exemplary leadership and execute the strategic vision.
  • Develop and implement a multi-platform digital vision for mobile, social and video, focused on achieving target audience specific goals and objectives.
  • Increase journalistic quality and storytelling across all areas of coverage.
  • Lead the planning and oversee execution of content strategies with a keen eye focused on growth audiences. Creativity and an ability to develop and execute innovative approaches are essential.
  • Excellent personal leadership, change management and ability to collaborate and influence cross-functionally—can conduct a dialogue that is intellectually honest, brings out diversity of ideas and creates the appropriate integration/connectivity.
  • Strong communicator of the company's strategic initiatives, purpose, vision, culture and plan.


  • Minimum 10-15 years of experience as a respected journalism leader, with emphasis on digital content and storytelling platforms.
  • Experience in high-level decision-making with complex, impactful or sensitive news content.
  • 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.
  • Experience driving a successful turnaround or transformation.

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.

Connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Glassdoor, Indeed & The Muse to learn more about our dynamic company culture!

Meet Some of USA TODAY NETWORK's Employees

Jade H.

Project Manager, People Division

Jade helps streamline operations while keeping tabs on company culture. Her role goes beyond transactional tasks and includes social engagement and Human Resources communication.

Shawn S.

Editor, Interactive Graphics

Shawn works with a talented team of reporters, editors, designers, and developers to inform readers through deliberate visual storytelling. He handles a range of work that ranges from the news cycle to year-long investigations.

Back to top