Daily to add General Manager position

by Elizabeth Smith

To run more effectively in the evolving media market, the Minnesota Daily is adding a full-time general manager position.
 
The new position will not have control over any editorial content and will assist in the paper’s administrative duties.
 
The Daily’s board members and student leaders say the position is expected to bring institutional memory to an organization that sees new leadership members with new goals every academic year.
 
“We’re missing a force of consistency, and this will be the same person every year, every week and every day,” said the paper’s outgoing Editor-in-Chief Cody Nelson.
 
The general manager will be responsible for improving the Daily’s outdated website and the ad revenue that comes from it, renewing insurance policies and easing the transitions between the ever-changing staff.
 
Nelson said the general manager will be in charge of long-term projects that students can’t maintain, like an analysis of the Daily’s readership and web traffic. 
Incoming Business Operations Officer Andrew Kent  has been a member of the Daily staff for two cycles of co-publishers and said there is little consistency when new leaders are selected.
 
“Things don’t carry over, so having that continuity will be huge for us,” he said.
 
The paper formerly employed a president, editor-in-chief and business operations officer — all overseen by a board of directors — but its president left in 
November, and the organization dissolved the position soon after.
 
Nelson and the Daily’s business operations officer, Megan Hernick, then took on the president’s duties, which include overseeing the paper’s human resources and information technology department.
 
Nelson said he thinks a general manager would allow students to focus on their jobs, rather than administrative duties.
 
Journalism senior lecturer Gayle Golden, who serves on the Daily’s board, said its members have thought about adding a full-time administrator for years, but the conversations became more serious in January.
 
“The board does not want students to be overshadowed and dominated in their work,” she said. “We want the students to be independent and learn as much as they can about the industry, but they’ve been hampered from doing that because it’s become increasingly difficult to do administrative tasks.”
 
Golden said if the paper’s finances don’t stabilize soon, it could cease to exist in its current form within three to five years.
 
The Daily receives student services fees that accounts for about one-third of its revenue — this year the paper was recommended almost $500,000 in fees — but it hasn’t made a profit for years.
 
The newspaper hopes to fill the position by Aug. 1, and though the pay will be decided based on experience, Nelson estimates the manager could make $50,000 to $80,000 per year.
 
The job requires someone with a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of working experience.