Position Description

Emerging Platforms Associate
Location Chicago, Navy Pier
Job Code 340
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media

To nourish the public conversation by telling the stories that matter—stories that provoke thought, entertain, capture emotion and inspire action.

Chicago Public Media Mission Statement


Who is Chicago Public Media?

Chicago Public Media is one of the largest, most decorated, aggressively creative, and journalistically ambitious public radio organizations in the nation. We are home to WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station, celebrating our 75 th year anniversary broadcasting at 91.5 FM, and Vocalo Radio, Chicago’s Urban Alternative music station at 91.1 FM. We are the birthplace of such celebrated programs as This American Life, Wait,Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Sound Opinions, Curious City and most recently, a growing portfolio of podcasts that include Serial, the “Making” series, including Making Obama and Making Oprah, and The Trouble with Shannon Cason. WBEZ’s award-winning newsroom is growing in order to tackle the stories that matter most to our community.  As an essential source of news and context, we are a powerful connector across lines of difference.

An opportunity to make an impact

At Chicago Public Media, we believe independent journalism is essential to a well-functioning democracy and access to fact-based, objective news and information a right of every citizen.  We serve the public interest by creating diverse, compelling content that informs, inspires and enriches. We connect diverse audiences and help make a difference in our communities, our region and our world.  If you are inspired by our mission and want to belong to an organization that inspires you, supports you, and challenges you, we encourage you to apply.


About the Role

Chicago Public Media seeks an Emerging Platforms Associate to work on a 6 month grant-funded project that leverages and optimizes digital audio content for the voice and smart speaker space. This assignment has the potential to extend beyond 6 months. Specifically this person will adapt the journalism and storytelling created and produced by WBEZ’s content teams for the Google News on Assistant experience, on which we are a pilot publisher.  


As new platforms emerge for consuming audio news, Chicago Public Media is well-positioned to engage new and existing audiences with its award-winning journalism and storytelling. The Emerging Platforms Associate will work on the product team and coordinate with the newsroom and content divisions to develop best practices for delivering an audio news product for voice and smart speaker devices, specifically the Google News on Assistant experience; to optimize user experience across those platforms through continuous testing and learning from various approaches; and to establish Chicago Public Media as a leader in the space. Chicago Public Media is a participant in the Google News on Assistant initiative launched in beta in early December 2018.


The ideal candidate will have outstanding product instincts, specifically how technology and media are evolving together to meet audiences where they are going to be. They should have working knowledge of how media companies are adapting their coverage for the smart speaker / voice assistant / screenless device space. Our preferred candidate should also have the ability to work quickly and efficiently, develop their own workflows and processes, and constantly be thinking about how to improve our product offerings in the space. They should be resilient and resourceful in adapting existing newsroom workflows to the emerging platform technical specifications. They thrive in a daily news setting and love building collaborative relationships with colleagues. They will have the highest ethical standards and a deep commitment to the mission of public media.


This is fast-paced job with responsibilities throughout the day. The Emerging Platforms Associate will report to the Director of Product, but will have the flexibility to be creative in how they meet the goal of developing an outstanding presence for Google News on Assistant.


Duties include:

  • Adapting existing audio files to fit the technical specifications of Google News on Assistant and other audio news products
  • Identifying and implementing best practices across emerging voice and smart speaker platforms to help Chicago Public Media stand out as a publisher
  • Selecting and publishing audio stories that WBEZ’s content teams have created and adapting them to meet technical specifications for Google News on Assistant
  • Optimizing the exposure and user experience of our presence on Google News on Assistant and other emerging platforms
  • Leveraging modern CMS tools to publish edited audio
  • Producing original sonic branding and call-to-action audio spots according to business goals
  • Analyzing data about what stories, topics and techniques perform the best with the audience to improve our offerings
  • Coordinating with reporters, editors and producers to adapt existing workflows to produce the best-quality product for the platform
  • Most importantly: being creative in how we can stand out as a media brand and attract engaged audiences as these platforms and experiences evolve



  • BA or equivalent training and experience
  • Working knowledge of smart speakers / voice assistants / screenless devices and how media companies can use them as content distributors
  • Ability to balance small task management with creative big-picture product thinking about how to succeed on these platforms.
  • Experience using modern CMS tools (Wordpress, Drupal, etc.)
  • Demonstrated experience in product development is a plus
  • Skill in digital audio editing software is preferred
  • Experience with adapting content for digital platforms and using social media to engage audiences
  • Ability to consistently meet deadlines throughout a day
  • Demonstrated thirst for news and ability to take initiative
  • Team player with high emotional intelligence and ability to collaborate effectively
  • Passion for grappling with ideas critically -- your own and those of others
  • Knowledge of Chicago and Illinois is a plus, but not required

Working at Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media cares deeply about our employees as we know attracting, nurturing and developing talent is key to our success and enhancing our impact.  Our culture is one where collaboration, ideas, and innovation are encouraged. We value colleagues who will enhance our culture by bringing new ideas, diverse experiences and talents to our dynamic workplace.


Chicago Public Media’s dedication to promoting diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion is reflective across our brands, WBEZ 91.5 FM and Vocalo 91.1 FM, in our staff and in our work.  We are fully focused on equality of opportunity and believe deeply in diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin and all other fascinating characteristics that make us different.


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