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, smart speakers, 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 audio 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 WBEZ’s daily and enterprise audio news coverage as it seeks to grow its audience in a multiplatform environment that includes broadcast radio, smart speakers, podcasts, mobile and social.
Reporting to the managing editor, the senior editor will manage a team that includes a range of journalistic talent, including reporters, editors and audio producers. Together, they will produce stories, features, interviews and newscast content throughout the broadcast day, shaping the editorial experience from Morning Edition through All Things Considered. This senior editor will also oversee the groundbreaking Curious City podcast and digital series. The team will work independently and collaboratively to serve our community on a daily basis, working across the newsroom with the digital team, 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.
The position requires someone with a deep understanding of effective audio journalism, as well a passion for the power of local journalism to inform, connect, reveal and inspire. They will have first-hand experience leading a diverse, daily team with a sense of purpose, clarity, and creativity and will know how to grow audience by developing a differentiated editorial strategy that builds loyalty and is indispensable to the audience it serves. 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. We are looking for a 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 partnership with the Managing Editor and the editorial team, set daily coverage priorities for WBEZ broadcasts with a fluency in the local and national news cycle;
Set clear priorities and direct the team in creating compelling daily journalism across newscasts, shows and dayparts, including stories, features and interview content;
Help reporters, producers and editors to conceptualize stories, define distinct angles/approaches, and provides constructive feedback;
Work collaboratively with colleagues across the news and programming teams, including anchors, editors, reporters, producers and other staff, to deliver outstanding and enterprising daily coverage
Help conceptualize coverage plans for major breaking news events and special coverage on WBEZ 91.5;
Collaborate with the managing editor and fellow senior editors to build the workflows necessary to ensure WBEZ is responsive to daily news across platforms, while showcasing our distinctive enterprise journalism;
Foster and contribute to 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 and success;
Be versatile in problem solving and responsive to the evolving needs of the newsroom
Challenge, nourish and empower the journalists on staff, furthering a newsroom culture of collaboration, inclusivity and continued editorial excellence.
Outstanding news judgment and demonstrated passion for leading, creative daily news coverage that builds a loyal, engaged audience.
Ability to conceptualize, plan and edit news stories for content, accuracy, pacing, ideas, narrative and voice;
Excellent editing ability and demonstrated skill in working accurately and effectively under deadline pressure;
Deep commitment to the highest standards of journalistic ethics and the mission of public media;
Strong relationship builder and naturally collaborative leader. Experience leading and inspiring diverse, inclusive teams to excellence;
Ability to motivate a high-performing team and to lead through influence rather than solely through authority;
Ability to be a motivating change agent in helping people adopt to new processes, systems/procedures, and tools;
Demonstrated problem solver with solid analytical and critical thinking abilities;
Excellent communication and presentation skills, verbal and written, with the ability to effectively collaborate across the organization;
Experience with the clocks of NPR’s drive-time shows is a big plus;
Knowledge of the Chicago region’s rich diversity of stories, sectors and communities is helpful.
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
A 403(b)retirement plan with a company match
Generous paid time off, including starting with 3 weeks’ vacation and 4 personal days