Chief of Staff

Chief of Staff

Signal’s Chief of Staff serves as a right-hand support for the CEO and is an entrepreneurial problem-solver with a background in managing complex projects, and delivering on strategic initiatives in support of our mission to serve all Ohio residents with the local news they need. This is an unique opportunity to contribute to the future of local journalism and support the next generation of civic news leaders.

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 in Greater Cleveland and to all residents of Ohio, 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.

Your team

The Chief of Staff reports to the CEO. The Chief of Staff will work closely with our Chief Financial and Operations Officer, Editors in Chief of local newsrooms across the network, and work across the organization with all teams.

The position

The Chief of Staff supports the CEO in developing strong organizational culture, internal communications, and cross-organizational planning. The COS enables the CEO to focus on broad strategic initiatives both within and beyond the organization, and will follow up on critical projects, carrying initiatives forward with the CEO. This leader brings the skill and experience to integrate quickly into Signal Ohio and work effectively with the leadership and board, operating at maximum effectiveness. The COS has the following responsibilities:

Your Job

Strategic planning and external relations

  • Serve as a key advisor to the CEO on all aspects of Signal Ohio, and work closely with team leads to facilitate fluid cross organizational planning and communication. Support CEO in stewarding org wide strategy and management.

  • Oversee planning and execution of all board meetings as well as governance and investment committee meetings. Oversee board development and onboarding of new board members. 

  • Refine governance structure and make recommendations to the CEO and governance committee on actions to strengthen structure and operations.

  • Set up our board to better guide our strategy as a whole and streamline board activities and meetings to support this effort.

  • Own behind-the-scenes preparation to make CEO meetings, both internal and external, successful, including research and preparation, drafting correspondence and tracking, monitoring, and execution of action items that stem from these meetings, as well as attending many of them.

  • Work with team leaders to design and steward planning to streamline organization-wide systems and processes. 

  • Lead ad hoc strategic projects and research, as needed. 

Talent and culture 

  • Support in scoping and hiring of new roles across the organization and in onboarding new staff to set them up for success. 

  • Oversee key projects related to talent and staff development; collaborate with CFOO on setting and implementing and refining a compensation philosophy, salary scale, and regular review of benefits.

  • Own and refine annual performance review and goal-setting process and ongoing cross-organizational tracking of progress to goals.

  • Partner with the CEO to invest in staff and board’s cultural competence and foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization, including serving on and directing the activities of our DEI Steering Committee. 

  • Own annual staff retreats and culture-building activities.

  • Lead on an internal communications strategy, including managing internal all-staff meetings and designing the systems and processes for fluid communication throughout the organization. 

  • Partner with CFOO on organizational culture to build a confident and flourishing team and the systems and operations that make that possible, with an orientation towards providing an inclusive and diverse work environment.

  • Partner with CFOO on human resource-related matters.

CEO support and management 

  • Dig deep into complex organizational issues - how systems and processes can be more efficient, how teams and people can work more effectively - and recommend solutions to the CEO.

  • Manage part-time executive assistant and ensure CEO’s time is maximized and prioritized effectively. 

  • Maintain a critical eye to ways the CEO's time can be best utilized by formally and informally assessing systems in place and implementing new ways to make things work better. 

  • Support CEO to draft written collateral and work with Communications teams to prepare CEO for external communications opportunities. 

Communications support and management

  • Ensure an outstanding communications staff is in place and executing at the highest level, with everyone clear about their role, responsibilities, and expectations.

  • Leverage cross-team collaboration to support communication priorities, ensuring consistent progress against communications team goals.

  • Oversee the implementation of strong communication systems and connect the dots across the organization so our communications are an extension of our overall strategy.

  • Bring in the communications team to act as thought partners on excellent internal communications.

Who you are

This role is a fit if you are…

  • Results-Focused: You set clear timelines and drive projects to completion. You move with a sense of urgency and know how to get things accomplished. 

  • Problem Solving: You're someone who thinks strategically. You love to brainstorm and come up with ideas. You look at the way things are and then imagine 20 ways they can be improved. 

  • Collaborative: You love people and you are the kind of person that brings energy to a meeting. You are friendly, kind, and professional. You are collaborative and believe the work is better when you get the input of diverse perspectives. 

  • Excellent communicator: You are direct and concise. You speak and write eloquently and with a situation-appropriate tone, whether over the phone, in person, e-mail, memos, PowerPoint, or social media channels. 

  • Bold and Mission-oriented: You wake up every day terrified about the future of local news in our country but boldly optimistic that we can reimagine our country’s local news infrastructure. You work with urgency to get us there faster. 

  • Detail-oriented: You cross your Ts and dot your Is and you get energy from doing behind-the scenes work. 

  • Analytical: You love to research and analyze. You love taking complex projects with competing priorities and many dimensions and wrestling them to clear project plans. 

  • Trustworthy: You handle confidential and sensitive information with humility, professionalism, and discretion.

  • Fun: We are working hard to reimagine the future of local news and our mission is vitally important to the future of our country. We also love the people we work with and like to have a good time. 

What background and skills do you have? (We know not all strong candidates will have all the skills we list. That’s OK. What else do you bring to the table? Please tell us!):

  • Demonstrated experience and leadership supporting a mission-driven organization and its leaders. 

  • A successful track record of work in advocacy, movement building, politics, and/or philanthropic ventures. 

  • Strong writing, editing and visual presentation skills. 

  • Excellent judgment and superior attention to detail. 

  • Ability to build trust-based relationships with colleagues in a virtual setting. 

  • Flexibility and comfort working in an environment where multitasking is the norm, the pace is fast, and priorities will evolve. 

  • Proficient with G-Suite, including strong visual and presentation (slides) skills. 

Signal Ohio is dedicated to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. Signal encourages people of all races, colors, national origins, ancestries, creeds, religions, genders, ages, disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientations, and marital statuses to apply.

Compensation and benefits

SALARY: $90,000 to $120,000

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 today

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