LION is looking for coaches with experience in building and managing a team

Coaches will help independent news businesses strategically and effectively hire, onboard and manage team members.

July 26, 2022 by Elaine Díaz Rodríguez

LION Publishers blue logo

If you want to work with independent news publishers to help them strategically and effectively hire, onboard and manage team members, we want to hear from you.

Status: Independent Contractor

Point of Contact: Senior Manager of Coaching

Location: Remote within USA

Engagement Type: Short-term contract, with variable working hours, from September 19 through November 25, 2022

About LION Publishers

Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional journalism association for independent news publishers. While most of our 400+ members across the U.S. and Canada run local news businesses, we also have members who serve larger regions and specific identity-based communities across geographies. LION provides teaching, resources and community to independent news entrepreneurs as they build and develop sustainable businesses.

Project Summary

The 2022 GNI Startups Lab on building and managing a team is an eight-week program launching in September. The aim is to help independent news businesses strategically and effectively hire, onboard and manage team members to support the people whose talent and well-being are key to their long term sustainability

It will provide news businesses with:

  • Training to identify why and when to hire for a new position and understand best practices for hiring, onboarding and managing a team member
  • One-on-one coaching to implement training and produce program deliverables 
  • Direct funding to execute deliverables

We’re looking for independent contractors to provide coaching who:

  • Have an expertise in news business management, strategic planning, staffing and internal operations
  • Can provide support on best practices for hiring, onboarding and managing a team member and documenting processes, approaches and workflows
  • Is familiar with human resources and building strong work cultures, including best practices to structurally address burn-out
  • Have experience working with, or have themselves been, organization leaders operating small teams
  • Have a breadth of expertise with journalism entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities
  • Share our vision that holistic sustainability lies at the nexus of journalistic impact, operational resilience and financial health 
  • Are comfortable coaching around both big-picture strategy and specific tactical approaches, but know they don’t need to be an expert in everything 
  • Can help publications prioritize their most urgent needs using insights from the LION community and the broader industry
  • Can balance the delivery of empathetic encouragement and reality checks to resource-constrained publishers

Coaching project 

The coaching contractor will have two primary responsibilities:

  • Through weekly coaching sessions, support and guide four news businesses as they implement training and produce the following program deliverables: a staffing plan and an employee handbook
  • Document coaching sessions to inform programming and to help LION gain a deeper understanding of what news businesses need at different stages. These insights will be shared at regular coaching team meetings and through light-lift weekly coaching reports.

Coaching goals and deliverables

  • Participating news businesses report that they felt supported as they produced their program deliverables
  • Weekly coaching reports for each participant
  • Your feedback on the program and your coaching experience through our offboarding survey 

Time commitment and important dates

The program runs the week of September 19 through the week of November 25, 2022.


Coaches will be paid $10,000 for the project, which consists of roughly 50 hours of work. Half will be paid upon signing the contract and the other half will be paid upon completion of the final deliverable. 

LION is an Equal Opportunity Employer

LION believes that a team with diversity of backgrounds and experiences will generate the most innovative ideas and ultimately do the best work in support of our mission. This is why we welcome contractors, vendors, staff and board members who contribute to a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment. We understand diversity as multi-dimensional and intersectional, encompassing aspects of our identities including race and ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability, class, geography, lived experiences and more. We welcome and encourage all qualified candidates to apply to opportunities at LION so that we build a team that reflects the diversity of independent news entrepreneurs we wish to serve.

We know there are great candidates who might not check all the boxes listed below or who possess important skills we haven’t thought of. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. 

Application materials

Submit your materials using this form by 11 p.m. Pacific time on August 19. You will be asked to provide:

  • Your resume
  • Any online links that show your work (a Twitter profile, a portfolio page, a LinkedIn profile, etc.)
  • Answers to the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in coaching with LION?
    • How would you describe your coaching style?
    • What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities for independent news businesses related to staffing and management?
    • What do you believe makes a strong work culture? What influenced those beliefs, and how have they evolved over time?
    • Tell us about an experience you’ve had formally documenting a process, approach or workflow that had previously been vague, inconsistent, scattered or living only in someone’s head. This can be an experience you’ve had yourself, or one that you’ve helped others with. 
    • Please share anything else you’d like us to know about your background, experience or skills that speaks to your ability to do this role.

If you have questions about this role, reach out to LION Senior Manager of Coaching Elaine Diaz ([email protected]) to learn more.

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