John’s Saccenti’s resume

JOHN SACCENTI

Milltown, NJ  08850

 johnsaccenti@gmail.com                          Cell:  732-691-8375

SUMMARY

A digital and print editor with experience covering communities in Central Jersey, including the launch of the East Brunswick Patch in 2010. Excellent managerial, communication and collaboration skills. More than a decade of managerial experience, including hiring employees and conducting employee reviews. Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously. Fluid use of social media to cross promote stories and events while increasing and promoting User Generated Content. Received close to 20 individual New Jersey Press Association Awards, including awards for government and education writing.  

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

 NEW JERSEY HILLS MEDIA, Bernardsville

Editor, Hunterdon Review                                           May 2014 – Present

  • Responsible for all editorial content of the Hunterdon Review, a weekly newspaper covering Hunterdon County. Write and report news, editorials and feature stories, take photos and shoot and edit video.

EAST BRUNSWICK PUBLIC LIBRARY, East Brunswick  

Public Information Assistant, part-time.                     March 2009 – Present

Customer Service Representative                                 February 2008 – March 2009

  • Promote the public library and its functions through social media, press releases, photographs, e-newsletter, email blasts, library website and interaction with local and national media.  
  • Write for and appear on EBTV, especially on the show This Week in East Brunswick, which is broadcast regularly. 
  • Assist patrons with computer and technology issues, research and other services provided by the library.

PATCH MEDIA CORPORATION, East Brunswick

Local Editor                                                                 Dec. 2013 – Jan. 2014

Associate Regional Editor                                        Sept. 2012 – Aug. 2013           

Local Editor                                                                 Dec. 2010 – Sept. 2012

  • Launched the East Brunswick Patch web site and worked at ground level with town leaders and officials to make it a landmark in the community.
  • Collaborated with business and advertising departments to build and maintain directory of key officials, organizations and business listings.
  • Worked closely with the advertising team on ways to maximize business coverage and Patch’s exposure in the community.
  • Supervised editorial content, budgets, and editors of seven Patch sites in Mercer and Middlesex County, NJ.
  • Managed budgets, story lists, employee reviews, monitored Unique Visitor goals, SEO, UGC and coordinate news coverage for the region.
  • Coordinated sports coverage for the state. Worked with freelancers to assign stories and request payment for services.
  • Extensive use of social media to cross promote stories, photo packages, video and other content from Central Jersey Patch sites.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                             

                                                                                     November 2010 – Present

  • Report election night results for General Election, primary and school board.

THE PRINCETON PACKET, INC., Princeton                                 

Managing Editor – Windsor-Hights Herald                              Oct. 2010 – Nov. 2010

Staff Writer -  Princeton Packet                                                     Oct. 2009 – Oct. 2010

Managing Editor – South Brunswick Post, Cranbury Press    Dec. 2008 – Sept. 2009

News Editor – South Brunswick Post, Cranbury Press            April 2000 – December 2008

Staff Writer – South Brunswick Post, Cranbury Press             June 1996 – April 2000

  • Collaborated on hiring reporters, wrote employee reviews and guided new reporters on how to report/write features and news stories.
  • Supervised three to four full time reporters and oversaw the creation of story lists (municipal meeting coverage, features, follow-ups and enterprise pieces).
  • Assigned stories and photo assignments to freelancers.
  • Read 30-40 stories weekly with an attention to detail for news content accuracy, punctuation and the quality of writing.
  • Used Harris Publishing software for copy editing, headline writing and newspaper building and layout.
  • Wrote editorials and columns, including semi-regular column, “Tangents.”
  • Worked as lead writer for several Central Jersey towns.

EDUCATION

BA, English Literature, Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ

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More Halloween Fun! Zombie Gods Among us

Combining the best of Greek mythology and zombies!

Zeus looked down on his children with hunger

not knowing that they were like he

bit by the plague and undying appetite.

Stumbling through Olympus, now like Kronos.

A belly full of children, but no Athena born.

Hades was full, and the dead walked the earth

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Short Story: Waiting for the Moon

A little story about what one werewolf does when the full moon approaches.

Ted rolled over, naked in the cage, looked at the clock on the wall, listened to it tick, sighed. He rattled the bars and tested the collar and chain around his neck. Both held.

Outside the room he could hear faraway sounds of life, smell the smells of dinner. The clocked ticked.

“Save some for me.” A mumbled response. He smiled. She was why he was here. To keep her safe.

The clock ticked the moon closer. It would start with the hands. Then he’d forget.

He lay back, naked in the cage, waiting for the moon. Waiting for tomorrow.

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Short Story: Unbound City

It’s Halloween time. Get in the mood with this short story about everyone’s favorite misunderstood monster, Frankenstein!

Of course it had a brain, they all did. It was required. But what they did with them was another story.

Vic adjusted his goggles and turned off the torch.

“Damn FrankensteinS. All the same.”

He examined his handiwork. This model had thrown a kitten, and itself, into a lake, frying its circuits. A challenge even for Vic.

“Alright, get out of here you idiot.”

The Frankenstein got up and left, joining the rest of his stitched-together brethren on the bustling streets of Unbound City.

The last man alive smiled and returned to his shop, awaiting the next malfunction.

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One Day in Rumney

I wrote this for a now defunct rock climbing publication. 
Comments? 

One Day in Rumney 

It’s Memorial Day and my fingers hurt. 

I’m on a 5.7 at the Parking Lot Wall in Rumney, N.H. The rock is hard and rough and the nubs I’m grabbing onto are all I have at the moment. 

It’s my second time on rock since October and only my third time in a year and a half and I don’t trust my feet yet. They’re crammed into bright blue shoes and they’re standing on things that might as well exist only in my imagination. My feet, like the rest of me, are waiting for inspiration, hoping that the rock will reveal the secret of the next move. Five seconds pass and the rock is mum. 

I’ve been here before, just not on this rock, in this town or in this state and I’m breathing heavy. I look up and dip into my chalk bag, thinking that it will make my fingers feel better. 

My feet make friends with the rock for a minute and I stand to feel for a bump. It’s there, but it’s hard and it’s rough and I pull myself up with my arms, just like I know I’m not supposed to. I look up at the rock, hoping again for inspiration. 

It’s my first climb of the day and my fingers hurt, but they’ve just found a hold big enough for three of them to grab onto. They hold on tight while my other hand comes up short, finding a bump worth nothing more than a few seconds of balance. 

I set my feet. They shift from left to right in a way I remember from days when climbing was more of a regular thing for me. I watch as they start remembering what to do. Something clicks in my head. 

My butt is low and my legs are bent and I stand up on tiny ledges that I know are there. I look left, then right, then up, and then left again to a spot my eyes remember thinking would work. I grab it and it makes my fingers hurt. My body turns sideways and I watch as my feet walk along bumps and ledges while my hands soak in the granite. I’m breathing heavy and I remember that I have glasses on and that I want them to stay there. 

I start to feel good, but then I pull myself up by my arms again, once more forgetting about my legs. Unfortunately, they haven’t forgotten about me, and I’m punished for the sin when one of my knees kisses the rock. My foot slips and my fingers slide and I manage to find something to stand on to keep from falling off. I’m breathing heavy, but I’m not tired. 

I dip into the chalk like an addict, rub my fingers together and try to look like I know what I’m doing. I go higher and spy the top-rope. It’s a few moves away and I feel good. My feet start to make sense again and I put them in places I remember seeing as I passed by seconds earlier. I bang my knee once more for good measure as I reach the top and I take in the scenery before I’m lowered down. 

It was my third time climbing in a year and a half, and my first of the day. And the pain in my fingers feels good. 

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Admiring a daughter’s sporting spirit

Admiring a daughter’s sporting spirit

TANGENTS: Admiring a daughter’s sporting spirit

I played a lot of sports as a kid and, like a lot of people, I wasn’t very good at most of them.

I was the strikeout king in baseball, usually getting so nervous before an at bat that I was lucky to even make contact with the ball, much less hit it somewhere in fair territory.

In basketball I took a grand total of one shot during a season in which I quietly hid behind a talented roster that won the championship despite my albatross-like presence.

In high school I played a little football, where for two years I languished just below mediocrity until I finally had a chance to start, which I promptly took advantage of by blowing out my knee and spending most of my senior year on crutches. I also wrestled in high school, won several matches, and lost a whole lot.

In each of these sports I was far worse than I should have been, but with a case of the nerves and possibly low self-esteem, stinking was far easier than excelling. It was as if I was afraid to succeed because I didn’t want to stand out, while also being afraid to fail. Weird, I know.

The one sport I did fairly well in was soccer, which is strange because until recently I’ve spent most of my life never giving it a second thought.

I played soccer for two years in elementary school and had one great year, and one crummy year. That first year, the good one, I played goalie and gave up just one goal all season. The coaches were excellent, and I wasn’t afraid to do the things they said would make me good, and the team made the playoffs. Once in the championship game, though, we came up short (remember that one goal?).

The next year I had high hopes for the team, which was all new — a different coach (one who never got out of her lawn chair and clearly didn’t know what she was doing), different players and apparently a different me. I stunk, was scared most of the time and eventually gave up on the sport.

For a long time after I made fun of the sport, admitted I didn’t understand it, and asked its fans what was wrong with them. To me, it was boring. It was a lot of kicking back and forth, a lot of complaining, and it was nearly impossible to tell who was winning just from watching.

But a lot has changed, mostly because soccer is back in my life, courtesy of my daughter, who’s been playing since kindergarten, and my wife, who’s an assistant coach.

Maybe it’s the kid-friendly rules, such as a set time limit that everyone can follow for quarters, halves and the game. Maybe it’s because I like watching a bunch of kids transform from a marauding group of maniacs to a team that knows how to pass and shoot and block.

Or maybe it’s because my daughter is pretty good at it and genuinely seems to love the sport the rest of the world calls futbol. She’s not afraid to do well and often gets mad when she doesn’t. I’m amazed that she and her friends play soccer at 9 better than most people ever do anything at any age.

Even more impressive is that she plays goalie, which means that when she has a bad day, everybody knows it. But it doesn’t seem to bother her. Maybe because she’s 9, or maybe because she’s a different kind of animal than I am — the kind of animal I wanted to be, not afraid to succeed and not afraid to fail.

Either way, these days I find myself watching a lot more soccer, on TV and at the park, and I find myself admiring more and more those who play it, including all those little third- and fourth-graders who run around for days straight, working hard and having fun in a way I wish I could. 

John Saccenti is the managing editor of The Cranbury Press and the South Brunswick Post. He can be reached at jsaccenti@centraljersey.com.

This originally appeared in the May 2009 edition of The Cranbury Press and the South Brunswick Post.

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U.S. Women’s National Team at Red Bulls Arena

This was a great time. After watching them for years on TV, and visiting with Heather O’Reilly in East Brunswick, it was a thrill to finally see this team in person.

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