Chief Executive Officer - SD News Watch

Sioux Falls, SD|Rapid City, SD|Aberdeen, SD|Brookings, SD|Watertown, SD|Pierre, SD, Full time Remote

Chief Executive Officer

South Dakota News Watch

Location: Flexible within SD



South Dakota News Watch, founded in 2017, is an independent non-profit committed to reporting the most important statewide stories, from agriculture to education, public safety to politics.

Funded by private donations and foundations, South Dakota News Watch is supported by several media organizations. While local media continue to serve their communities by reporting daily news events, South Dakota News Watch is focused on the big picture and aspires to be an innovative leader in thoughtful, in-depth journalism serving the public interest. That means informing and engaging South Dakotans through its unique blend of journalism leadership. The media companies involved in South Dakota News Watch have set aside competitive business pressures to collaborate in providing more watchdog, investigative and public service journalism.

Due to the growth of the organization and support from residents and stakeholders across South Dakota, the Board of Directors is seeking a strategic, passionate, journalism leader to be the first CEO and lead the organization to its next chapter. The CEO will guide the strategic vision of SD News Watch in collaboration with the board, ensuring high levels of journalistic and operational excellence.



The South Dakota News Watch CEO will have the relevant experience and talent to effectively carry out the key accountabilities of the position including:  


Strategic Vision and Execution

Co-create and implement a clear and measurable strategic plan with the board, staff, and key stakeholders to increase journalistic excellence, extend and deepen audience engagement, and enrich the team culture.


Content Oversight

Challenge and guide staff to ensure high levels of journalistic excellence as the cornerstone of the organization to ultimately grow readership, engagement, and support.


Fundraising and Development

Design and oversee the execution of the fundraising plan and actively raise major and transformational gifts through enhanced relationships with donors, foundations, and future members.


Organizational Leadership

Implement the optimal organizational structure, ensure role clarity for each team member, and develop a culture of trust, accountability, and engagement.


Brand Integrity and Marketing

Design and ensure execution of a brand and marketing strategy to increase brand awareness and engagement through effective messaging, community outreach, relationship building, strategic partnerships events, and intentional calls to action.


Administrative and Financial Oversight

Enhance the health of the organization by utilizing efficient systems, financial oversight, appropriate internal controls, forecasting, and transparent reporting.


Governance Support

Support board leadership to engage a diverse and effective Board of Directors, leverage their strengths to advance the mission, plan meetings, and provide the transparency necessary for effective governance.



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Proven results in fundraising, sales, or strategic partnership building  
  • Experience managing journalistic programs and projects
  • Ability to work effectively with a variety of people internally and externally
  • Effective, diplomatic, and clear communication style
  • Ability to engage and educate community stakeholders in the vision of the organization
  • Strong analytical and decision-making skills
  • Experience managing budgets
  • Must be located within South Dakota
  • Some travel required to build statewide relationships



Sagency, an executive search and leadership consulting firm, has been retained by South Dakota News Watch to conduct this search for CEO. Sagency consultants will review and evaluate all interested parties to help the search committee review a final group for consideration.

The search will be conducted in a professional manner and all potential candidates will be given consideration by the search firm and South Dakota News Watch. Candidate conversations and information will be handled with great discretion and confidentiality. Sagency and South Dakota News Watch are equal-opportunity employers.

If after reading this Opportunity Profile, you sense that your experience, skills, and passion are a good match for South Dakota News Watch and this role, we would like to engage with you. Please read below for the first part of the application and selection process.


What to expect in the Application and Selection Process:

  • Interested candidates should complete the online application.
  • Upload your resume.
  • The online application will be posted until position is filled.
  • A Sagency Executive Search Consultant will engage with, and interview select individuals to identify a group of candidates to introduce to the South Dakota News Watch search committee.
Thank you for your interest in this opportunity. 
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