Chicago Public Media is one of the largest and most respected public media organizations in the country. The organization has a legacy of innovative program development having launched such iconic shows as This American Life, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me…, and the groundbreaking podcast Serial. With an unparalleled reputation for creativity and innovation across all platforms, Chicago Public Media provides substantive news and insights, thoughtful conversation and meaningful connections to its diverse audiences throughout the Chicago area, as well as nationally and globally.
Chicago Public Media engages with its listeners and users across multiple platforms, including broadcast radio, streaming services and smart speakers, web, social media and mobile. Its flagship station, WBEZ-Chicago (91.5 FM) is dedicated to producing high-quality journalism and engaging programs and podcasts. WBEZ’s website, wbez.org, and mobile app allow listeners to fully control their experience through its groundbreaking rePlayer functionality and on-demand platform. WBEZ’s sister service, Vocalo Radio (91.1 FM, vocalo.org), targets a multicultural audience through an urban alternative music format.
About the Job
Chicago Public Media, home to WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news station, seeks a dynamic leader and experienced editor to guide its multiplatform news team during an exciting time of transformation and growth in our award-winning local newsroom. This editor will operate at a high level, setting and executing the strategic direction for the newsroom as WBEZ seeks to grow its audience in a multiplatform environment that includes broadcast radio, smart speakers, mobile web and social.
The Senior Editor will manage a multi-discipline team that includes a range of journalistic talent, including digital and social media producers, data and visual journalists, editors, and reporters. The Senior Editor will report to the managing editor and collaborate with the enterprise news teams, the product team, the programming team, the membership team and the content development unit to support efforts that create outstanding journalism and content experiences that build loyalty, trust, engagement and membership. We are looking for a digitally savvy leader who can inspire excellence, innovation and is adept at coaching and developing a staff yearning to grow WBEZ’s position as an essential destination for outstanding journalism and news coverage in Chicago.
In that spirit, the ideal candidate will have a natural fluency in managing a daily news team that publishes on digital platforms. The candidate will have experience developing structure, processes and procedures to make an integrated newsroom work. They will have a deep understanding of effective storytelling in digital contexts, as well a passion for the power of local journalism to inform, connect, reveal and inspire. They will have first-hand experience running a digital news site and know how to grow audience by developing a differentiated editorial strategy that builds loyalty and is indispensable to the audience it serves.
The right candidate will have extensive experience leading and inspiring a diverse team of journalists to create work of the highest caliber. They will possess an appetite for adventure and fun, a healthy competitive spirit, and a passion for growth and innovation in a time of dynamic change. The candidate will have discerning taste and keen editorial judgment, as well as a deep commitment to the mission of public media and the highest ethical standards.
Lead the newsroom in developing a daily content and social strategy that builds a large loyal audience for wbez.org that is reflective of the community we serve;
Set clear priorities and direct the team in creating compelling and distinctive daily journalism;
Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the digital team that puts intentional focus on WBEZ.org becoming an essential digital destination for Chicagoans;
Develop workflows across the newsroom that enable reporters, producers and editors to work efficiently and effectively to report stories on the optimal platform at the optimal time;
Develop a culture of continuous learning, development, experimentation and collaboration; Be comfortable as a change agent;
Develop goals and metrics (OKRs) that allow us to evaluate progress;
Collaborate with the managing editor and director of product to reimagine wbez.org and build a destination that is responsive to daily news, while showcasing our distinctive enterprise journalism;
Coach and train the newsroom on digital best practices, including metrics and analytics, audience research and cultivating source development through social;
Be versatile in problem solving and responsive to the evolving needs of the newsroom
Outstanding news judgment and demonstrated passion for leading, creative daily news coverage that builds and serves a loyal, engaged audience with distinction
Excellent editing ability and demonstrated skill in working accurately and effectively under deadline pressure.
Demonstrated experience as a newsroom manager in hiring, growing, inspiring and retaining diverse, inclusive teams.
Experience leading a team of digital content creators, and the ability to think strategically and act quickly on new digital audience growth opportunities
Ability to motivate a high-performing team and to lead through influence rather than solely through authority.
Ability to be a motivating effective change agent in helping people adopt to new processes, opportunities, systems/procedures, and tools.
Demonstrated problem solver with solid analytical and critical thinking abilities.
Solid understanding of content management systems and web-based products and standards.
Experience building large, loyal audiences through SEO, UX, audience analytics and social media
Excellent communication and presentation skills, verbal and written, with the ability to effectively collaborate across the organization.
Working at Chicago Public Media
At Chicago Public Media, we care deeply about our employees as we know attracting, developing and growing 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 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, experience and all other fascinating characteristics that make us different.
At Chicago Public Media we believe dedication to a great workplace includes supporting our employees and their families. As a result, we provide a broad and generous benefits package for you at hire and in the years to come. Our benefits include:
6 weeks fully paid family leave
12 weeks paid maternity leave
High quality Medical, Dental, and Vision plans at an affordable cost
403(b) retirement plan with a company match
Generous paid time off, starting with 3 weeks’ vacation and 4 personal days