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Position Description

Audio Product Associate
Location Chicago, Navy Pier
Job Code 371
# of Openings 1
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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 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. 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.

About the Role
Chicago Public Media seeks an Audio Product Associate to optimize our audio content for the voice and smart speaker space. Specifically this person will adapt the journalism and storytelling created and produced by WBEZ’s content teams for the Google News on Assistant experience, NPR One, Amazon Alexa, and other emerging listening platforms.

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 Audio Product 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; to optimize user experience across those platforms through continuous testing and learning from various approaches; to ensure compliance with technical and content specs for each platform; and to establish Chicago Public Media as a leader in the space. 

The ideal candidate will have experience producing or editing audio. They should be tech-savvy, with 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 problem-solvers. 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. 

The Audio Product Associate will report to the Director of Product. This role has significant professional development opportunities with respect to product management, working within a team of experienced engineers and product leaders.

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 produced by WBEZ’s content teams 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

Qualifications

  • BA or equivalent training and experience
  • Experience producing, tracking, and editing audio news or podcasts is required
  • Skill with digital audio editing software (Adobe Audition, ProTools, Logic, etc.)
  • Knowledge of how audio is distributed on the web (for example, RSS)
  • Experience using modern CMS tools (Wordpress, Drupal, etc.)
  • Working knowledge of smart speakers / voice assistants / screenless devices / audio apps 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. 
  • Demonstrated experience in product development is a plus 
  • Experience with adapting content for digital platforms and using social media to engage audiences
  • Ability to consistently meet deadlines throughout a day
  • Team player with high emotional intelligence and ability to collaborate effectively

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
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