Senior Editor, Food & Wine

Hearst Communications San Francisco , CA 94118

Posted 3 months ago

Senior editor, Food & Wine

Food & Wine team mission

The food team's mission is to provide the most engaging and influential coverage

of the Bay Area's food culture, one of the most dynamic on the planet. The team strives to be the best food journalists in the region, reporting with accuracy and depth, telling stories through vivid and entertaining language and images, and critiquing with insight and flair. The team breaks news--then pulls off in-depth coverage of trends, people and issues. The team also knows how to make our audiences salivate. A deep love of all things food and wine informs our coverage.

Ultimately, the team's goal is to lead the conversationin print, on social media and online, in personaround food and wine.

The food & wine pillars

  • What and where to eat: We search out, report on and review the full range of Bay Area food places: the newest buzzy restaurants, classics, neighborhood joints, immigrants' kitchens and tech company commissaries, markets and shops, tech-y delivery services, popups and food trucks.We stick our necks out and make informed judgments: What tastes good. What is worth the price.

  • Food culture: Food is central to the Bay Area's identity. Through food, we can tell the story of who we are. We cover the news of restaurants and farmers and makers; we zero in on trends ahead of the competition, and provide service journalism that feeds our audiences' need for hyper-local information.We bring to life the people behind the food: chefs, farmers, mixologists, bakers, biochemists, financiers. Our coverage paints a rich, detailed picture of the contemporary food scene.

We do this for our local audience. But, from one of the most creative food capitals on the planet, we do it for a national, even international, audience.

  • Creative journalism: We look for stories that transcend categories (the food/business story. Food/health. Wine/tech). We tell stories in a variety of ways--first person, through images, at length or in a tweet--appropriate to the platform and audience. And always look to surprise our readers.

  • Northern California cooking: We go into the kitchens of local chefs and home cooks to bring readers the newest, most delicious ways to cook our great local ingredients. Our cooking stories are not recipe collections but explorations of food culture and food trend, through the everyday activity of cooking.

Reporting structure

The Senior Editor, Food & Wine reports to the Deputy Managing Editor and oversees 5 staff writers.


The Food Editor is

  • the visionary for the Chronicle's food and wine coverage, able to scan the landscape and distill trends and to share that vision with the staff and the newsroom

  • a strong journalist. News editing experience a necessity. They need good news judgment, and a sense of urgency to launch stories before our competition does.

  • a team leader who gives a talented team room to stretch, and sets high expectations all the while humble enough to see that they are not the only one with great ideas.

  • a quick, adept editor: Lots of copy comes through. Must feel comfortable editing on deadline. And must know how to work with writers to turn a good story into a great story.

  • a big picture editor who can spark ambitious team and individual projects. The Bay Area food scene has a big role on the national stage. See the opportunities to play there.

  • online savvy: Understands how to deploy stories across channels. At ease with social media, able to work with content management systems.

  • a creative packager who can think outside the conventions of newspaper food reporting. Comfortable working with design and photography.

  • finally, is never satisfied with the status quo.


  • Create a clear content strategy for food coverage across all platforms, in collaboration with staff and other newsroom stakeholders (photo, design, digital team, top editors).

  • Cover the breaking and trend news of food as it happens, for and the daily/Sunday print Chronicle, including profiles, trend pieces, enterprise work.

  • Work with individual writers to develop their potential, be first in news and with exclusives. Set goals for each staff writer/editor. Maximize their strengths. Help them juggle the multiple demands of their multimedia jobs.

  • Plan the daily and weekly lineup of food and home coverage across all platforms. Keep budgets organized; plan major projects with optimal lead time.

  • Assign or delegate the assigning of stories to staff and freelancers.

  • Hold staff to deadlines. Insure photo assignments have been made in a timely manner.

  • Top-edit all stories

  • Organize and direct the team to produce a beautiful Sunday print section

  • Insure the section flows through the necessary production channels, working with the lifestyle copy chief, and sign off on the final pages.

  • Set social media and additional online strategy, cadence and goals

  • Collaborate closely with designers and photographers to create strong visual coverage

  • Act as a representative of the Chronicle in the Bay Area restaurant and food communities

The work

  • Oversee the planning, editing and production of daily stories online, including breaking news and features.

  • Oversee the creation and production of a weekly print section.

  • Oversee how the food team works its social media accounts and individual's own accounts.

  • Oversees the teams who produce the department's 5 newsletters, at least one podcast and special live events.

Estimated time spent on responsibilities

  • Planning and assigning staff and freelance stories: 25%

  • Editing/working with writers: 35%

  • Producing section: proofing/writing heds/oversight: 20%

  • Misc: Invoices, reader response, online publishing/social media: 20%


  • BA or equivalent

  • 5+ years editing at a news organization, national or regional magazine or digital food or news site. Candidates must have both top and line editing experience, and demonstrate ability to work with and nurture good writers

  • Strong background covering food and/or restaurants. The ideal candidate has a passion for covering the food scene.

  • Competitive news instinct. In addition to possessing skills in editing longform features, this editor must also feel at home jumping on news fast and getting it online.

  • Ability to conceive creative service journalism: how and what and where our audiences can eat in the Bay Area.

  • Experience shaping strong digital content: best practices for writing webheds, using visuals, storytelling in social media

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Senior Editor, Food & Wine

Hearst Communications