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Digital Editorial Director, National Geographic

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Job ID 10090292 Location Washington, DC, United States Business Disney Entertainment Television Date posted May 23, 2024

Job Summary:

National Geographic is looking for a Digital Editorial Director (DED)! We are looking for a leader that can manage and execute National Geographic’s visually rich and scientifically sourced digital storytelling! This important role leads a team of editors making data-informed content decisions that drive results by creating relevant, timely, and conversation-worthy content with a National Geographic lens.

This leader will spearhead content creation from planning through publication, approving content targeted for platform-specific audiences that meet acquisition goals. They will set the standards for content that drive results across all editorial teams by being selective about story assignments, intentional with story structure, and creative with irresistibly click-worthy headlines. The DED should have a keen understanding for how content is consumed on different digital platforms, and specifically how it should be optimized for Search, Social and subscription wins.

While the DED will be expected to guide and influence editors across the entire editorial operation to adhere to digital best practices, the leader will also collaborate on publishing priorities in support of the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Channel, and The Walt Disney Company at large.

What You Will Do:

  • Manage digital content team, which requires hiring, coaching, and performance management
  • Regularly align on content and promotion strategies with the Executive Editor of Digital, which often includes collaboration with teams across the company
  • Run regular digital editorial pitch meetings throughout the week, leading the conversation and making decisions on which stories to pursue, which stories to not pursue, and which pitches to continue to research and shape
  • Approve, reframe or kill story pitches that surface and need decision making outside of regularly scheduled meetings
  • Decide paywall status and weekly publishing cadence, identifying which stories align with each of our KPIs as well as what topic areas to experiment with
  • Instruct and set expectations for story framing and story length, regularly using data and experimentation to test new concepts and formats
  • Reactively and proactively advise on headlines and help editors craft compelling headlines, testing them as needed
  • Work with the digital photo manager, graphics team, and the manager of interactive storytelling, to plan for and publish highly engaging content and new storytelling formats
  • Attend weekly leadership meeting to report on what upcoming content has potential for synergy support from PR and Marketing teams, while contributing to the larger conversation about overall business objectives
  • Meet with PR and Marketing teams regularly to strategize creative solutions to reshape print-first stories so they have high consumer impact and support overall company needs
  • Identify digital-first story packages that can be published across platforms and have the potential to be franchised
  • Work closely with the Director of Integrated Storytelling to conceptualize digital content for synergy priority needs, including those of National Geographic Channel and National Geographic Society
  • Report on daily trends, whether it’d be a topic in the news, on Search, on Social, or otherwise in the zeitgeist, executing our digital publishing strategically
  • Collaborating with the Digital Engagement Team, build and oversee the editorial Search strategy, from tools to use, tactics to deploy and content to prioritize
  • Regularly collaborate with the Social team on digital content ideation. The director will decide what content to pursue for timely publishing, and along with managers, assign that content. They will also ideate and execute on bigger digital projects in alignment with the Social team
  • Hold monthly data meetings with the editorial team to report on the previous month’s performance, including strategies to continue, topics to continue pursuing, areas to pull back on, and what to experiment with in the month(s) ahead
  • Meet weekly with direct reports to provide a constant feedback loop on their performance and their teams’ output and performance
  • Regularly jump in to help with text editing as needed

Required Qualifications & Skills

  • 8 plus years of editorial experience in digital publishing, including management and supervisory responsibility
  • A strong background in writing, editing, and digital operations, with a broad knowledge of search engine optimization, are musts
  • Be a future-forward digital manager, have superior conceptual editing skills and be a big-picture digital strategist using data-driving tools
  • Lead conversations and evolve story ideas out of brainstorm sessions
  • Ability to write digitally optimized headlines and text
  • Highly developed ability to recognize and create story ideas, including ideas with major visual and multimedia components
  • Unflappability and a cheerful attitude under publishing pressures
  • Ability to work cooperatively with a variety of personalities

Preferred Qualifications

  • A keen sense of the competitive media landscape, tried tactics and industry trends
  • The ability to help with recruiting and retaining talent
  • An understanding of priorities and demands of a large umbrella company, such as The Walt Disney Company
  • The patience to work effectively with many different divisions as well as those outside of National Geographic.


Bachelor’s degree with concentrated studies in journalism, digital media or communication

About Disney Entertainment Television:

The Disney Entertainment Television group creates original entertainment and news content for the Company’s streaming platforms and its cable and broadcast networks.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise that includes three core business segments: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Experiences. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with National Geographic Partners PAY SVC, which is part of a business we call Disney Entertainment Television.

National Geographic Partners PAY SVC is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.


The Walt Disney Company and its Affiliated Companies are Equal Employment Opportunity employers and welcome all job seekers including individuals with disabilities and veterans with disabilities. If you have a disability and believe you need a reasonable accommodation in order to search for a job opening or apply for a position, email with your request. This email address is not for general employment inquiries or correspondence. We will only respond to those requests that are related to the accessibility of the online application system due to a disability.

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