Chief Financial and Operations Officer

Chief Financial and Operations Officer

The Ohio Local News Initiative is seeking an experienced Chief Financial and Operations Officer (CFOO) to oversee all fiscal management, human resources, and administrative functions, for a growing network of local newsrooms across Ohio.

The CFOO will collaborate with the CEO and leadership team to set bold and enterprising growth goals, along with proactively building the organizational strategy and culture to achieve those goals. The ideal candidate will be a proven and experienced change management leader with demonstrated analytical skills, an understanding of the complex issues facing startups and nonprofits, and the ability to develop the strong operational systems necessary for this organization of diverse, talented individuals to thrive.

This is an opportunity for an entrepreneurial finance professional who is excited to help build the infrastructure for a new nonprofit media outlet operating statewide in Ohio.

The Organization

In 2021, a coalition of Ohio organizations and community leaders, and the American Journalism Project, partnered to launch a network of independent, community-led, nonprofit newsrooms. Created out of a study that found many residents of northeast Ohio were not getting the critical local information they needed, the mission is to ensure every resident of the state has the local news they need.

With over $7.5M raised, the first of these networked nonprofit newsrooms was Signal Cleveland, which launched in fall of 2022. The newsroom will increase the volume of relevant, original local reporting available to all residents of Greater Cleveland, with a focus on key coverage areas and issues that residents elevated as being important to them, including government accountability, economic development, health, and education.

The Role

Reporting to the CEO, the CFOO will collaborate with the senior leadership team and Board to guide Signal Ohio's strategic planning, finance and operations processes in service of Signal Ohio’s mission to build and grow a mission-oriented, sustainable organization with newsrooms across the state. The CFOO will lead all financial, administrative, and people operations of Signal Ohio and will have the following responsibilities:

Finance Planning & Analysis

  • Develop a financial and budget model for managing newsroom expansion plans and a growing network of interconnected newsrooms across Ohio.

  • Lead the preparation of timely and accurate financial reporting and analysis (including income statement, budget-to-actuals, balance sheet, and cash flow projections) to build the financial literacy of the team and help colleagues employ financial data to support sound decision-making.

  • Lead the preparation for regular Board meetings and present financial reports to the Board of Directors.

  • Lead the development of annual budgets, regular forecasting, and multi-year projections.

  • Manage and evaluate the work of the outsourced accounting firm. With support of the outsourced accounting firm, manage the chart of accounts and general ledger and ensure accurate recording and classification of all transactions and journal entries.

  • Provide strategic financial input and leadership on decisions affecting the organization, such as evaluation of potential partnerships and providing solutions for organizational challenges; act as a key thought partner to the CEO.

  • Oversee the organization’s cash and investment management approach in partnership with the board of directors and manage the organization’s banking relationships.

  • Coordinate external audit in partnership with Signal Ohio’s outsourced accounting firm and ensure compliance with all local, state, and federal government regulations and other applicable laws and requirements governing grantmakers and charitable organizations.

  • Ensure reconciliation on a monthly basis of revenue and cash goals, and ensure that all financial and other legal information required by donors and foundations is provided on a timely and accurate basis. Develop standard financial reports that can be shared externally with funders.

  • Track and manage revenue from restricted and unrestricted grants, including appropriately releasing restricted funds against eligible expenses, tracking the fulfillment of conditions and milestones, and preparing grant utilization reports for funders.

  • Develop a financial policies and procedures manual and implement ongoing recommendations for improving financial processes and internal controls.

Operations & Planning

  • Collaborate with the CEO, senior leadership team, and Board in the leadership of Signal Ohio's strategic planning, finance and operations processes.

  • Lead the maintenance and continuous upgrade of the appropriate infrastructure and resources, including: data, security, systems, technology, policies, procedures and controls.

  • Manage facilities for a growing network of local newsrooms across Ohio.

  • Partner with external legal counsel to ensure all processes and procedures are compliant with federal and state laws.

People Operations

  • Working with Signal Ohio’s CEO and professional employer organization (Justworks), oversee and execute on all aspects of human capital development & management.

  • Collaborate with the leadership team to steward a culture aligned with our values and upgrade people operations functions including performance management, training and staff development.

  • Create and implement a consistent, transparent, and equitable hiring and onboarding process for new staff across Ohio locations.

  • Oversee the administration of employee payroll and benefits programs through the PEO Justworks, including benchmarking benefits and compensation.

  • Present annual compensation analysis to the Board of Directors.

Team Leader and Member

  • Serve as a leader within the organization by actively working to support the success of other members of the entire team; cultivating an organizational culture that is highly collaborative, positive, and productive; and that drives impact through continuous improvement and learning.

  • Explicitly promote Signal Ohio values across the organization, including values of diversity, equity and inclusion across internal and external operations.

  • Set ambitious, motivating, and realistic priorities to continue building systems, processes, and relationships that enable smarter, more thoughtful, and more efficient achievement of Signal Ohio’s mission.

  • Build strong, trusting relationships with people at all levels of the organization and work collaboratively with leaders, grantees, and funders across the field, representing Signal Ohio in a manner consistent with the mission.

Your team

You will report to the CEO with support from a to-be hired People & Operations Manager, our financial management partner Foresight, outside legal counsel, and the American Journalism Project.


  • Passion for local, public service journalism and strengthening the news ecosystem in Ohio.

  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in a senior financial leadership role working closely with a CEO and board of directors, including a deep understanding of 501(c)(3) development and/or grantmaking processes and related financial and compliance issues.

  • Prior team leadership experience and proven ability to provide useful feedback, develop, and inspire staff.

  • Intellectually curious, strategic thinker and innovative problem-solver, including a proven ability to create and manage organizational change.

  • Strong personal responsibility and accountability, results-oriented, adaptable, skilled at situational management (including being able to manage up, laterally, and down), and the ability to work both independently and lead.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to synthesize large amounts of information and clearly communicate key information. Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy in documentation and data integrity.

  • Experience with Google suite, Quickbooks online, and preferred.

  • MBA or MPA preferred.

  • Position is based in Ohio.

Compensation and benefits

SALARY: $125,000 - $150,000

This is a full-time position with competitive salary and benefits. Signal Ohio is dedicated to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. Signal Ohio encourages people of all races, colors, national origins, ancestries, creeds, religions, genders, ages, disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientations, and marital statuses to apply.


Apply here

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