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 75th 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.
About the Job
Vocalo Radio 91.1 FM, is Chicago’s Urban Alternative, a format that features an eclectic mix of Hip-Hop, R&B, House music and more. We believe that music is a gateway that allows us to amplify Chicago culture via profiles and discussions with artists, activists, and change makers. Our radio station works at the intersection of music, storytelling and engagement to affect positive change in people’s lives.
We are seeking a part-time music host/producer who can present a mix of midday live on-air shifts and “pre-recorded” (tracked) shifts to engage audiences around our format. Shifts and schedules may vary based on the station needs and could include some live event appearances but will not exceed 20 hours per week. We are hiring for two shifts, weekdays 10am-2pm and Monday –Thurs 2pm-5pm with some weekend hosting. Our Music Host/Producer will work closely with a team of hosts and producers to expand and deepen our engagement with diverse audiences and to help position Vocalo as Chicago’s premiere destination for music and culture.
In addition to our core format, we’re home to an outstanding DJ collective that features top local DJ’s spinning sets five nights a week (5 O’clock mix and the Live at Five); the Morning AMp a daily morning program that features music and conversation hosted by Jill Hopkins; Reclaimed Soul, a weekly program that features deep cuts and rare gems from the golden era of soul, curated by Ayana Contreras; Latin Alternative music programming on Sundays with Jesus Echeverria and Rocio Santos , and a vibrant mix of music and Chicago stories throughout. Our ideal candidate is someone who loves the artists and music at the heart of our urban alternative format and possess a passion for growing and connecting young diverse audiences, particularly among Chicago’s Black and Latinx communities. You have a relaxed, engaging on-air delivery that’s inclusive, informed, authentic, and companionable. You’re someone others love spending time with – and are a natural guide to urban alternative musical discovery and cultural connection. You’re active in social media channels and your presence there consistently reflects the very best of Vocalo’s values and mission. You brim with curiosity and creativity but know how to focus and deliver on deadline. You thrive in a collaborative environment and love working with a wide array of colleagues and artists to help build Vocalo into a truly vibrant cultural force.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
Voice tracks and hosts some live shifts to announce artists/titles, top-of-the-hour news briefs and/or community calendar events
Plays music as specified by the station music log
Manages the digital efforts of each shift, including social media engagement around promoting ticket giveaways, community calendar events, or now playing messaging
Operates in-studio board for live remote broadcasts
Receives, screens and records listener phone calls for on-air playback during shifts, when applicable
Fills-in for prime time on-air personality vacation time off
Conducts occasional interviews with artists or other guests as needed
Light production or voice over work, when necessary
Serves as a compelling ambassador across platforms, reflecting the values and mission of Vocalo across all platforms
Hosts or emcee’s occasional live events
Additional duties assigned by the Managing Director
Skills and Experience we are looking for:
Strong on-air background (live and voice-tracking) with high energy
Passionate, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Vocalo Radio’s format and Chicago culture
Socially informed and perceptive; specialized knowledge of the range of music in our playlist
Appropriately re-enforces the radio station identity and program at all times. This includes:
Working knowledge of radio automation software, preferably ENCO DAD/Presenter
Experience running a studio console
Experience editing audio
Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Knowledge of all applicable FCC rules and regulations.
Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, high-growth, rapidly changing culture and environment.
In your cover letter, please include links (Soundcloud, YouTube, Dropbox) to air checks that demonstrate your on-air ability and talent.
Candidates without accompanying demo material will not be considered.
This position is represented by SAG-AFTRA.
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