Sfgate Food Editor
Hearst NewspapersSan Francisco, CA
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Full Time Job
SFGATE Food Editor
Launched in 1994, SFGATE.com was one of the first large-market media sites in the world and served as the exclusive digital home of the San Francisco Chronicle for 19 years. In 2019, the Chronicle (which can now be found online at the paywalled sfchronicle.com) and SFGATE officially became two separately run entities with their own editorial staffs and independent newsrooms.
Today, SFGATE is a digital-only publication that reaches more than 28 million readers every month and tells the stories of the people, places and ideas that make San Francisco, and the Bay Area at large, the weird and wonderful place that it is. We help readers navigate their day, whether it's by keeping them updated on big breaking news, guiding them to interesting local experiences or sharing a part of the Bay they haven't seen before.
The site is home to seven verticals: Culture, offering a unique mix of the entertainment news you actually need, and the underground stories from hidden corners of the Bay Area you want; Local, the premier destination for everything that life in San Francisco encompasses (from wildly expensive real estate to schools to what it's like to live above a raucous bar); Sports, covering the intersection of sports and culture; Travel, covering everything from flight deals and travel news, to hotel hacks and under-the-radar day trips; Politics, where we keep you up to speed on all local, state and national politics that have implications on the Bay Area; Food Drink, where we tell you the backstory of the people behind the bar and in the kitchen; and News, plus has satellite editors covering Lake Tahoe, California Parks, and Disneyland.
Under the direction of SFGATE's Managing Editor, the Food Editor will be a versatile journalist with a deep understanding of the Bay Area's food scene and enough intellectual curiosity to want to tell stories that matter to both the people who aggressively follow Bay Area food, and the people who only casually do so. The Food Editor will be able to toggle between fast-paced daily stories and the well-sourced, deep-dive features that remind people there's more to food coverage than simply openings and closings. We want someone who will dig deep to cover the Bay Area's food scene in incredibly unique ways, and find stories that locals didn't even know mattered to them.
What you'll do:
• Consistently have ideas - you'll be given a blank canvas to tell stories that matter. You need to have a constant stream of ideas to paint this. We are absolutely not looking for someone to just write opening roundups or review new restaurants. What we are looking for is someone who can apply ambitious creativity to food journalism.
• Be autonomous - this position comes with a lot of trust, to both keep an editorial calendar, meet deadlines, understand analytics and communicate with the copy desk, photo department and illustrators. You have to be able to do all of these things, and do them well.
• Be consistent - not only is this an idea-heavy job, it's a writing-heavy job, we want someone who can move the audience with their features, to give them smart, bite-sized food news items to keep them informed throughout the week, and have the planning foresight to make sure they have something really great lined up for weeks to come.
• Find emotional connections - we don't want a feature story on the best dim sum in the Bay Area. First of all, everyone has already written this story a million times, but second it's going to be wrong -- there's no way you could try every single dim sum in the Bay Area, so your story already is going to be overpromising on something you can't deliver. We want a feature on the burger bar near the 49ers old practice facility that gave away free food to players and staff after every win in the '80s. We don't want a list of recipes you can make with Annie's Mac 'n Cheese (at all, really don't pitch this ever). We want you to find real-life Annie, who still lives on a farm on the East Coast and ask her why she didn't move to Berkeley when Annie's HQ did. We don't want a story about the fun new bar in the Marina, we want one about Black Horse London Pub, an old, worn-in bar that's arguably the smallest in the entire city, where beers are stored in a clawfoot tub behind the bar, and the owner will play dice with you late into the night. We want ambitious journalism, not a retread of every food section in America.
Who you are:
• You have 3 years of relevant experience in food writing and editing at a publication or in a digital media environment
• You have a deep knowledge of all food in the Bay Area - we really want someone who understands the importance of House of Prime Rib, but also has had cheap beers at Buddha Bar in Chinatown. We aren't here to hand out stars or only write about insider-y Michelin restaurants.
• You live in the Bay Area or are able to move here once it's safe to do so
• You have experience managing and mentoring other food writers - you'll have three direct reports on your team, plus occasionally work with freelance columnists.
• You have a passion for journalism and telling stories
• You've read SFGATE and have an understanding of the brand and voice
In accordance with applicable law, Hearst is required to include a reasonable estimate of the compensation for this role if hired in San Francisco. The reasonable estimate, if hired in San Francisco. is $75,0000 - $85,000. Please note this information is specific to those hired in San Francisco. If this role is open to candidates outside of San Francisco., the salary range would be aligned to that specific location. A final decision on the successful candidate's starting salary will be based on a number of permissible, non-discriminatory factors, including but not limited to skills and experience, training, certifications, and education.