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Gannett Seeks a ‘Taylor Swift’ Journalist After Massive Local Layoffs

Hector Vivas/Getty
Hector Vivas/Getty

Millions of Americans encounter the immovable force that is Taylor Swift on a daily basis, whether through her record-breaking tour, her plethora of Billboard-charting albums, or while in the fever-dream high that is her late-surging single “Cruel Summer.

For a Gannett reporter, it will be their full-time job.

USA TODAY and The Tennessean, a member of Gannett’s USA TODAY Network, are hiring a full-time “Taylor Swift Reporter,” according to a job listing posted on Tuesday. The role, which seeks a “video-forward” reporter with five years of experience, would cover Swift’s fanbase and her effect on pop culture as she embarks on the next stage of her Eras Tour. As such, the reporter must be willing to travel internationally, according to the listing.

The listing comes as Gannett has repeatedly slashed jobs in local news markets across the last two years, most recently laying off six percent of its news division in December. It has also seen an exodus of news leaders, with eight top editors or executives leaving various roles in the first half of this year, according to a Poynter analysis.

“The successful candidate is a driven, creative and energetic journalist able to capture the excitement around Swift’s ongoing tour and upcoming album release, while also providing thoughtful analysis of her music and career,” the listing read.

Swift’s star has re-peaked several times since 2020, which saw the dual album releases of Folklore and Evermore, both of which were nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys. (A win for the former marked Swift’s third in the category.)

Since then, she has released multiple re-recordings of her back catalog to critical and commercial success; produced her tenth studio album, Midnights, which saw the biggest sales week on the Billboard Hot 200 since Swift’s own Reputation in 2017; embarked on the career-spanning Eras Tour, which some analysts project to be the first tour to gross more than $1 billion; and is set to write and direct her first feature film.

It’s uncommon for publications to devote reporters to singular artists or personalities, a responsibility typically reserved for politicians or other government officials.

“The USA TODAY Network is committed to serving our communities across America with journalism that is essential to millions of readers, viewers and listeners,” Kristin Roberts, Gannett’s chief content officer, said in a statement. “And that includes providing our audience with content they crave.”

It’s also unclear what Swift, who considers Nashville one of her hometowns, herself makes of the role. An email to Swift’s publicist was also not immediately returned.

Gannett saw digital subscription revenue rise 17 percent from last year during this year’s second quarter, according to an earnings report last month, and it saw its losses dwindle to $12.7 million during the quarter compared to last year’s $53.7 million.

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