John Saccenti Resume

JOHN SACCENTI

107 Connolly Drive
Milltown, NJ  08850
Home:  732-951-8201
Cell:  732-691-8375
johnsaccenti@gmail.com

SUMMARY

Award winning journalist and editor with more than 20 years of writing, editing and management experience who spent five years as the Public Information Assistant at the East Brunswick Public Library. Experience includes writing and editing The Cranbury Press and The South Brunswick Post, with extensive coverage of Cranbury, Jamesburg and Monroe. Experience coordinating and executing media coverage through social media, press releases, email blasts, Constant Contact, and interaction with local and national media. Excellent communication and storytelling skills, AP Style and experience producing compelling written, visual and video content. Identify audiences and create content that supports institutional goals. Experience working with local and state reporters and elected officials.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

NJ ADVANCE MEDIA, Edison NJ
Advertising Content Specialist                                                         January 2015 – present

  • Interview medical professionals to plan and execute weekly Health Talk series.
  • Plan and execute yearly campaigns to promote non-profit organizations, including The Valerie Fund, Times Holiday Gift Appeal, the Jefferson Awards and the Greater Newark Holiday Fund.
  • Collaborate with sponsors, clients and sales team to create coordinated promotions and initiatives designed to increase awareness of client services through targeted blog posts and print products.
  • Create shareable sponsored content and native advertising.
  • Extensive use of InDesign to create special section tabs and real estate sections for NJ Advance Media newspapers.

MONROE NOW, Monroe, NJ
Freelancer covering Monroe Township                                    March 2018 – present

  • Write feature stories on individuals and events in Monroe Township for Monroenow.com.

 EAST BRUNSWICK PUBLIC LIBRARY, East Brunswick, NJ  
Public Information Assistant, part-time.                                March 2009 – Dec. 2014
Customer Service Representative                                             Feb. 2008 – March 2009

  • Coordinate and execute media coverage for the public library and its services through social media, press releases, email blasts, library website and interaction with local and national media.
  • Identify audiences and create content that supports institutional goals.
  • Promoted the library brand and its initiatives to increase awareness through appearances on EBTV as a host and writer.
  • Develop and nurture relationships with media and local schools, arts and volunteer groups and township officials.

 NEW JERSEY HILLS MEDIA, Bernardsville
Editor, Hunterdon Review                                                 May 2014 – December 2014

  • Write and report news and feature stories for several towns in Hunterdon County. Responsible for all editorial content of the Hunterdon Review, a weekly newspaper in Bernardsville.
  • Layout and design weekly newspaper and a twice-a-month tabloid using InDesign.

 PATCH MEDIA CORPORATION, East Brunswick, NJ                                                                                                     
Local Editor                                                                              Dec. 2013 – Jan. 2014
Associate Regional Editor                                                      Sept. 2012 – Aug. 2013     
Local Editor                                                                              Dec. 2010 – Sept. 2012

  • Launched the East Brunswick Patch website and worked 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 to maximize community coverage.
  • Grew East Brunswick Patch newsletter subscriptions from zero to 2,231, Facebook followers from zero to 2,201 and Unique Visitors from zero to 30,000 a month using a strategy of community outreach and online engagement.
  • Built stable of freelancers and bloggers to provide high-quality online content.
  • Oversaw editorial content, budgets and editors of seven Patch sites in Mercer and Middlesex counties. Managed budgets, story lists, employee reviews, monitored Unique Visitor goals, SEO, User Generated Content and coordinated news coverage for the region.
  • Coordinated state coverage of high school and professional sports.

THE PRINCETON PACKET, INC., Princeton, NJ                                

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 – Dec. 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 up to 10 employees 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.

U.S. 1 Newspaper,
Freelance Writer                                                                      Sept. 2009-Sept. 2010

  • Wrote business features and profiles on companies and individuals located in Central Jersey.

 EDUCATION
 
BA, English Literature, Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ
NEW JERSEY PRESS ASSOCIATION AWARDS
 
Between 1996 and 2006 received the following awards from the New Jersey Press Association:

  • First Place Business and Economic Writing;
  • First Place Best Coverage of Local Government;
  • First Place Special Subject Writing;
  • First Place Freshest Treatment of a Tired Topic;
  • First Place Business and Economic Writing;
  • Second Place Interpretive Writing;
  • Second Place Government-Art Weissman;
  • Second Place Freshest Treatment of a Tired Topic;
  • Second Place Community Home Run;
  • Second Place Education Writing;
  • Second Place Arts & Entertainment;
  • Second Place Interpretive Writing;
  • Second Place Education Writing;
  • Third Place column writing;
  • Third Place Editorial Writing;
  • Third Place Interpretive Writing;
  • Third Place Environmental Writing;
  • Third Place Interpretive Writing.
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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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