‘Let your creativity stretch its legs and run’ at the Hutch News

My pal Ron Sylvesterthe brand-new managing editor of the Hutchinson News of Hutchinson, Kan. — is looking to hire a page designer.

Here’s the ad he asked me to post:

Here’s an opening for an entry level page designer offering rare benefits for a modern journalist:

  • The chance to work for a stable company with no debt and growing opportunities. Because of this, we offer a profit sharing program, so you’re not just working those long hours for the CEO to be the only one who gets a raise.
  • We haven’t had layoffs since 2009. How many newsrooms can say that?
  • Doing work that actually gets feedback at the local coffee shop every morning, because you interact with readers daily, not designing pages in some faraway hub. Because it serves a smaller community with powerful local news coverage, people actually read our paper and web site.
  • We’re a town of 42,000 people, but we have a vibrant group of young professionals. Even our mayor is under the age of 40.
  • We pay salaries competitive with larger papers, but because of our cost of living, you’ll feel like you’re getting a raise.

The Hutchinson News has an average daily circulation of 27,000 (30,000 Sundays), serving a town of 42,000 people and communities across western Kansas.

But just because we’re a small town, it doesn’t mean we don’t do big-time journalism. We were the first newspaper in Kansas to win a Pulitzer and ever since we’ve continued to strive to produce the best quality. For the second year in a row, we’ve won the state’s overall sweepstakes award in the largest circulation daily division. That means we not only hold our own, but at times surpass, bigger newsrooms.

Simply put: Hutch News kicks butt.

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We’re looking for someone to help us display those award-winning stories and photos in interesting and innovative ways. Here’s a place in the wide open Great Plains, where you’ll have room to let your creativity stretch its legs and run.  Because this is a place people like to live and work, you’ll be surrounded by veteran professionals who will help you grow.

If this sounds like a team you’d like to join, send a cover letter, resume with references and examples of your work to:

Ron Sylvester, managing editor
rsylvester [at] hutchnews.com

I worked closely with Ron and his team during my time at the Orange County Register. He’s top-notch.

Hutchinson is about an hour northwest of Wichita and a little more than three hours west of Kansas City.

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The main industries in Hutchinson are farming, the salt mine and some manufacturing. Among the latter:

  • The Lowen Sign Co., which is the country’s largest maker of real estate signs.
  • Collins Bus Corp., the country’s largest school bus manufacturer.
  • A wind turbine nacelle factory operated by Siemens.

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Hutchinson is also the site of the annual National Junior College Athletic Association basketball tournament.

I’ve always wanted to visit Hutchinson. There is a world-class space museum there, the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

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Among the exhibits there: Both the Apollo 13 spacecraft and Gus Grissom’s old Mercury capsule, which spent decades on the floor of the Atlantic.

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The city is also the home of Strataca, an active salt mine that’s so stable in temperature and humidity that the operators also use the place to store fragile old movie film and other artifacts.

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Among the original reels reportedly stored there: Gone With the Wind, the Wizard of Oz and Star Wars.

Famous people from Hutchinson include NFL quarterback Pat Ryan, Dodger pitcher Jack Banta, actor Aneta Corsaut, Playboy models Racquel Darrian and Julie Woodson, photographer Hal Prewitt and journalist James B. Steele (of the famed Philadelphia Inquirer investigative duo Bartlett and Steele).

Find the city’s official web site here and its tourism bureau here.

Find the Hutchinson News‘ web site here.

Find Ron Sylvester’s web site here and his Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Friday, April 24

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to three wonderful visual journalists…

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Jim Bounds is a free-lance photographer based in Raleigh, N.C. He’s run his own business for the past six years, but previously, Jim spent 16 years shooting for the News & Observer. His photos have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and the Associated Press and Bloomberg wires. Find samples of his work here.

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Lara Weber is a member of the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune. A 1990 graduate of the University of Kansas, Lara worked at the Times of Munster, Ind., before joining the Chicago Tribune in 1995 as a graphics coordinator. She spent 11 years as a coordinator and visual reporter before taking time off to work with the Peace Corps, coordinating an HIV/AIDS public health program in Zambia. She returned to Trib Tower in 2002, working as a news editor for RedEye and then becoming a features content editor for print and multimedia in 2005. She became health editor in 2009 and, a year later, became editor of newsroom events and producer of Chicago Live!, a weekly stage and radio show hosted by Rick Kogan and including contributions from the famed Second City comedy troupe. She moved to the editorial board in March. Find Lara’s Twitter feed here.

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Alexandro Medrano is director of Innovation and Strategic Planning and art director at Excélsior in Mexico City.  A 1994 graduate of the graphics program of the Centro de Estudios Superiores de Diseño de Monterrey, Alexandro has worked for el Norte, Esmas.com, TV Azteca and el Diario.

Alexandro, Jim and Lara share a birthday with actors Stacy Haiduk, Jack Henry Quaid, Jill Dorothy Ireland, Shirley MacLean Beaty, and Cedric Antonio Kyles (better known as Cedric the Entertainer); musicians Kelly Brianne Clarkson, Kellin Quinn (of Sleeping with Sirens), Douglas Clifford (of Creedence Clearwater Revival) and Barbra Joan Streisand; director Richard Donner, fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier; Miss Alabama 2012 Katherine Webb; sports greats Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (cricket), Lee John Westwood (golf), Laura Trott (cycling), Kristopher Allen “Kris” Letang (hockey), Carlos Iván Beltrán, Omar Enrique Vizquel González and Larry Wayne “Chipper” Jones (all three baseball); Chicago mayor Richard Michael Daley and novelist Anthony Trollope.

In addition to Arbor Day, today is National Teach Your Children to Save Day, World Meningitis Day, National Hairball Awareness Day and New Kids on the Block Day. Seriously.

Have a truly great birthday today, you three! Best wishes!

Three huge centerpiece-worthy games. One front page. What’s a sports designer to do?

Tuesday was an uncommonly interesting sports day for the folks in Washington, D.C. — both the NBA Wizards and the NHL Capitols pulled off big playoff wins and the baseball Nationals came back for a thrilling win.

The Washington Post‘s rose to the occasion with an uncommonly brilliant sports front page. Dan tells us:

It was a fun night!

Click for a larger, readable look:

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Dan writes:

Last week when I knew all these teams would be playing on the same night I wanted to do something different to give the playoff teams equal play, and thought the Nationals would go on bottom somewhere with the Redskins schedule story.

But at start of Tuesday night, I sold our sports editor, Matt Vita, on stripping the Redskins schedule to make room for this setup of our three live games.

We had staff photogs at each game so I emailed them my cover early in the night on what I was hoping for. Also talked to night editor Greg Schimmel that if all teams win or lose we can do a head treatment to tie it all together.

When the Nats hit their walk-off home run to end the night, we were off and running.

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Toni L. Sandys shot the Nats game in D.C. and James Wagner wrote the story.

Dan continues:

I worked with Karl Hente on what I was aiming for with the headlines and we came up with a head for the Wiz and Nats…

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Jonathan Newton shot the Wiz game in Toronto and Jorge Castillo wrote the story.

…before Greg Schimmell and Scott Silverstein added the “boost” for the Caps.

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John McDonnell shot the Caps game in New York and Alex Prewitt wrote the story.

The games were arranged in the order in which they finished. We highlighted that info in the photo captions.

Lastly, to keep the theme going, our headline for the Redskins schedule was “A blueprint.” in the teez bar at the top of the page.

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A graduate of Western Illinois University, Dan Worthington spent a year-and-a-half as assistant sports editor of the Daily Review Atlas of Monmouth, Ill. before moving to the Beaufort (S.C.) Gazette and the (Hilton Head) Island Packet in 2008.

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He moved to a sports design position with the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., in 2009 and was promoted to assistant sports editor a year later. He moved to the Post in 2013.

I most recently wrote about Dan’s work at the beginning of March Madness.

A few more samples:

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Find Dan’s web site here, his YouTube channel here and his Twitter feed here.

Fort Lauderdale’s Tom Brew leaves newspapers for the world of book publishing

Tom Brew of the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel announced recently via social media:

It’s been a great three years here, but it’s time for something different.

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I am going to be editor and president of a new venture, Crossroads Publishers, overseeing the production of books, boutique books, magazines on demand and websites. I will be doing my own two book projects, and have already lined up three other projects for us to publish, with many more in the discussion stages. I’m looking forward to telling some great stories here in the next few months and beyond.

The first two projects will take me home to Indiana for the next several months, but there are Florida projects in the future, so I’ll be coming back and forth a lot. I’ll keep you updated as deals get finalized.

A 1980 graduate of Indiana University, Tom was a sportswriter for the St. Petersburg Times and then spent five years as night sports editor for the Tampa Tribune. He moved to the Indianapolis Star in 2004 as chief of the copy desk but was laid off in June 2011.

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His novel — The Ties that Bind – was released in October.

Find his Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Thursday, April 23

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six excellent visual journalists…

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Ani Arambula is a designer for U-T San Diego. A product of the University of San Diego and the California College of the Arts, Anita started at the Union-Tribune in 1989 as a photo lab tech. Over the next 24 years, she worked as a shooter, photo editor, illustrator, writer and art director. Find her photo blog here, her food blog here and her NewsPageDesigner portfolio here. Find Ani’s Twitter feed here.

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Jodi Gersh is director of social media and engagement for Gannett in McLean, Va. A 1994 graduate of the University of Maryland, Jodi spent nearly four years as a senior account manager for the Aspire Technology Group before moving to USA Weekend magazine in 2000 as technology manager. She was promoted to director of information services in 2005, to senior systems analyst of USA Today a year later, to social media manager in 2008 and director of social media products in 2011. She assumed her current duties in 2012. Find her web site here, her blog here and her Twitter feed here.

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Tony Leys is a reporter for the Des Moines Register. Tony is a 1988 graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Find his Twitter feed here.

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Rob Lein is a longtime sportswriter, sports editor and copy editor currently living in Fargo, N.D. A 1979 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, Rob spent three years with the Williston Herald, 22 years with the Bismarck Tribune and three years with the Fargo Forum before leaving newspapers in 2007. He’s currently a sales rep for PepsiCo. Rob turns 59 today.

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Thomas Ritchie is “chief fire starter” at Team Creative Fire, a startup web branding, design and marketing company in Sioux City, Iowa. A 1992 graduate of Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., Thomas spent four years as a reporter and copy editor for the Yankton Press & Dakotan. He moved to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader in 1996 to become presentation editor and then to Sioux City, Iowa, to become managing editor of the Weekender in 2000. He returned to the Argus Leader as lifestyles editor in 2004. He bounced back to Sioux City in 2006 to become director of online news for Lee Enterprises. He also teaches social media at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City. Thomas left Lee in 2012 to make a go at running his own company. Find his Twitter feed here.

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Mike Saewitz is associate director of member development for the Atlantic Media Company in Washington, D.C. A 2002 graduate of Northwestern University, Mike interned for the Virginian-Pilot, the Register of New Haven, Conn., and the St. Petersburg Times. He spent five years covering cops and courts for the Herald-Tribune of Sarasota, Fla., before rejoining the Pilot in 2007. He returned to school in 2010 and earned his MBA degree — with emphasis in strategy and finance — in 2013 from the University of Virginia. Mike turns 35 today.

Ani, Mike, Thomas, Jodi, Tony and Rob share a birthday with actors Harvey Lee Yeary (better known as Lee Majors), Valerie Anne Bertinelli, Joyce Ann DeWitt, Hervé Jean-Pierre Villechaize, Janice “Jan” Hooks, George Lopez, Alexandra Zuck (better known as Sandra Dee), Shirley Jane Temple Black; Scott Hamilton Bairstow, Kalpen Suresh Modi (better known as Kal Penn) and Dev Patel; musician Roy Kelton Orbison and Stephen Maynard “Steve” Clark (of Def Leppard); documentary maker Michael Francis Moore; sports greats Alistair Edward Brownlee (triathlon), Daniela Hantuchová (tennis), Warren Edward Spahn, Andruw Rudolf Jones (both baseball), Anthony James “Tony” Esposito (hockey) and Charles Burnham “Bud” Wilkinson (football coach); terrorist Timothy James McVeigh; physicist Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck and President James Buchanan Jr.

In addition to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, today is World Book and Copyright Day, Movie Theater Day, National Lost Dog Awareness Day, English Language Day, Talk Like Shakespeare Day and Impossible Astronaut Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have an wonderful birthday today!