Director of Engagement & Subscriptions

Canada's National Observer
Ste 414 - 207 West Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC V5T 4T8

Printing / Publishing
Application Closing Date
Manages Others
Experience Required
Degree Required
Security Clearance Required
Yes Credit, criminal, education
Employment Type
Work Schedule
Some Travel

Job Description


For more than a decade, Observer Media Group has led the digital re-invention of Canadian media, driven the national conversation on energy and climate change, and made history as the first all-digital publication to win a National Newspaper Award and a Michener Award citation. Our Democracy and Integrity Reporting Project has placed us at the centre of Canada’s battle against online misinformation and electoral manipulation. Observer Media Group owns Canada's National Observer (CNO). 

CNO is a trusted national news source for progressives in Canada. CNO publishes investigative reporting, political columns, in-depth analysis, solutions journalism, multimedia features, opinion and daily news coverage. We pursue stories that seek to identify and explore problems in society. We also cover success and innovation to ensure that decision makers and members of the public are empowered to make informed choices. We have a special focus on how governments and industry make decisions as well as the factors that influence their policies.



The Director of Engagement & Subscriptions (Director) is responsible for leading growth by converting CNO’s award-winning journalism into increased subscriptions. Building on the team’s 5 years of subscription growth and excellence, the new Director will achieve ambitious goals, applying their consumer-facing expertise to drive engagement and grow our strong base of subscribers. This is a centralized position that is a high-visibility, high-impact opportunity to help CNO retain and develop digital subscribers and grow revenue.

You will take our solid track record to a new level by increasing site traffic, expanding our newsletter lists and converting those readers into subscribers. You will manage our acquisition and retention strategies for digital-only subscribers. CNO enjoys a high rate of subscriber conversions through email communications that exceed average news industry levels. You will take this to a new level of success.

You will also be responsible for selling group subscriptions to large organizations, building on our current group which includes the federal government, libraries, universities and civil society groups, as well as businesses. As you meet your targets and create additional revenue, you will expand your team and be responsible for hiring and managing all contractors and new employees who will be working with you on engagement.

The Director of Engagement & Subscriptions is an ideal role for a metrics-driven leader who is proficient at deriving compelling insights and analytics, and collaborating with internal stakeholders. You are keen to deliver on-time, on-brand, and on-budget results when it comes to pricing, engagement, and retention.



      Drive CNO’s subscription and overall consumer revenue business and strategy, contributing towards company gross margin and profitability goals.

      Champion subscription and consumer revenue opportunities and become a voice of the consumer with internal stakeholders to deliver a coherent go-to-market strategy.

      Establish a subscription growth & engagement plan and strategy.

      Apply consumer marketing expertise to grow CNO’s strong base of digital subscribers.

      Build cross-channel initiatives, personalized campaigns, customer segmentation, and optimize marketing technologies – driving measurable improvements in customer engagement.

      Guide consumer revenue and user research to better understand what readers want from our digital content, to inform our strategies and priorities. Conduct market and competitor research.

      Create an always-on approach to engagement, by looking at CNO customers’ entire journey across all devices and channels, and then create an optimized messaging and content to align with various touchpoints and unique needs along our customers’ journey.

      Continually hunt through other avenues such as through Twitter spaces, podcasts, and online events to cultivate new subscribers, and retain current subscribers.

      Oversee tracking and reporting of key life cycle performance metrics against goals, drive measurable improvements to subscriber engagement and retention metrics.

      Analyze data and metrics on a monthly or as needed basis, making recommendations for improvements.

      Maintain existing datasets and continue to develop new prospects.

      Utilize and share data insights to shape decision-making and strategy.

      Write and use communications to help create momentum.

      Lead, manage, and recruit team members and external contractors.


A competitive compensation package will be offered, complete with salary and benefits.



We invite candidates to apply by email with your cover letter and résumé no later than July 29th, 2022. Send to Searchlight Partners:

CNO is an equal-opportunity employer and committed to fair and accessible employment practices. We are committed to building and maintaining an inclusive work environment that reflects the diversity of the members we serve.

We encourage applications from all qualified candidates and equity seeking groups, including from racialized persons/persons of colour, Indigenous, Queer, Trans, and Disabled persons.

We thank applicants for their interest, however; only those advancing in the process will be contacted.

Job Requirements

● Minimum 5 years’ experience in digital subscription, digital marketing, or digital campaigning within a news media environment.

● Demonstrated success leading and scaling growth in a customer-driven subscription business.

● Track record of growing subscription sales through paywalls and increasing site traffic.

● Ability to identify subscriber revenue KPIs that will help focus CNO on the highest-impact work.

● A passion for data & metrics, growth and a track record of meeting and exceeding revenue targets, managing all points of the sales funnel.

● Experience in SEO and digital marketing, and working with analytical and reporting tools.

● Understanding of engagement metrics and their contribution to achieving goals and objectives.

● Comfortable leading internal stakeholders.

● Use of CRM marketing solutions and technology, with practical working knowledge of segmentation, targeting, automation, and testing.

● Ability to leverage social media to promote subscription sales.

● Knowledge of Mailchimp and paywall technology.


● An eye towards innovation and identifying creative growth solutions.

● Self-motivated, driven with initiative.

● Ability to apply strategies to deliver results while demonstrating flexibility and adaptability to fulfill the needs of the business.

● Ability to formulate a clear point of view, with concise communication.

● Resourceful, with the ability to work independently and solve problems.

● Highly organized, with the ability to handle and prioritize multiple projects.

● Detail- and deadline-oriented.

● An appreciation of our mission and a readiness to enthusiastically advance our impact.

● An ambitious builder who wants to “make their mark" on the world, expand our influence, and grow audiences.

● A strategic thinker with a creative and entrepreneurial mindset.

● A commitment to continuous improvement.

● Roll-up-the-sleeves work ethic and a pragmatic, results-oriented approach.

● Emotional intelligence with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
Canada's National Observer
Ste 414 - 207 West Hastings St.
Vancouver BC V5T 4T8