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Position Description

Talk Show Host
Location Chicago
Job Code 398
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media
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…,Nerdette, Making Obama and the ground-breaking podcast Serial. Chicago Public Media engages with its listeners and users across multiple platforms, including broadcast radio, digital streaming, and mobile apps. Our flagship station, WBEZ Chicago (91.5 FM and wbez.org) is Chicagoland’s premier hub for trusted, fact-based journalism and engaging, entertaining audio programs and podcasts. WBEZ’s sister service, Vocalo (91.1 FM in Chicago, vocalo.org everywhere), targets a multicultural audience through an urban alternative music and culture format.
 
The Oportunity: Host
91.5 WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR News station, seeks an engaging host to guide listeners through a dynamic mix of interviews and compelling conversations about the day’s news on Reset, our flagship two-hour daily talk show. Airing M-F from 11a-1p, Reset brings listeners the news and conversations that matter. The program explores the Chicago conversation by telling stories that provoke thought, entertain, capture emotion and inspire action. Join us.
 
Position Summary
Based at our Navy Pier studios, this Host role will drive a fact-driven conversation each day that’s inclusive, revealing and empathetic. The best candidate will have the keen ability to find insights, surprise, and joy in the moment - behind the mic, at live events, and actively on social media.
 
Ideally, you’re passionate about the news, issues and people at the heart of America’s third largest city. You believe in expanding the public conversation, and in surfacing voices and ideas that reflect the richness of our community, including its challenges, opportunities and connections, locally and globally. 
 
You are a talented interviewer who conducts compelling interviews on a wide range of topics, including  politics and policy, science and business, and arts and culture. You listen, dig in, and look for fresh angles on stories and ideas. A great on-air laugh is a plus, as is the maturity and self-awareness you will bring to each conversation and interaction on the show. You will be able to juggle a live program including various topics, guests and live callers, and manage the inherent in-the-moment surprises along the way. You are a steady, trusted presence for listeners.
 
As the Host, you will work collaboratively with the Reset team including the Executive Producer and the rest of the show’s ambitious, supportive, and diverse team You will be hands-on in the production of the show including researching topics, booking guests, producing segments and engaging audiences on social media. You will ensure the content and conversations reflect the diversity of Chicago. On occasion, you will host special coverage events and serve as host or emcee of WBEZ station events, including pledge drives (virtual and IRL). 
 
Required Skills and Experiences
Because this is an on-air position, we need to hear your hosting delivery. We can’t get that by reading a resume. Somewhere in your cover letter you MUST include links (Soundcloud, YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) to samples of your on-air work. 
  • Must have at least 3 years’ experience hosting a live radio show, ideally in a medium or large market; familiarity with the Chicago area is a plus
  • Previous on-air experience will demonstrate ability conducting extemporaneous, on-air conversations with skill and poise under pressure, including live breaking news events when necessary
  • Having journalism experience in a broadcast or digital newsroom environment is desired
  • Having hands-on experience with a production team in preparing and researching segments and booking guests is needed; experience with digital or audio editing is a plus
  • Having a presence and some experience effectively engaging on various social media platforms is key
  • Proven ability to stay informed in a wide range of topics beyond current events, including arts, culture, film, history, science and public policy to create depth of conversations on a variety of topics is necessary for success
  • Ability to be a collaborative member of our larger WBEZ team; you’ll stay connected to our content and the people who produce it.
Other requirements
  • This job is located in Chicago, IL, based in our studios at Navy Pier. 
  • We intend to host a few Reset tapings outside the studio and in various Chicago neighborhoods, so you’ll need to be willing to travel around the for these events, as needed.
  • This position is represented by SAG-AFTRA.
  • Somewhere in your cover letter you MUST include links (Soundcloud, YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) to samples of your on-air work. 
The essential functions described above are not all-inclusive and may change periodically to meet the needs of Chicago Public Media (CPM). The information contained in this job description is not intended to create any contractual or other legal commitment. Chicago Public Media may change the content or format of this job at any time in its sole and exclusive discretion without notice.
 
Working at Chicago Public Media
Our associates are in service of our mission. Our full-time employee population hovers around 150 people, and approximately half of our team is represented by SAG-AFTRA. We work at our newly renovated open and collaborative space at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL. We know it is imperative that our workplace reflects our community so we can, in turn, provide content that connects people. We are committed to having a workplace that thrives by creating a place of belonging where everyone can contribute their talents. If you share our passion for public service news and information, join us! Check out our LinkedIn page for further details.
 
Chicago Public Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and actively seeks people to join our team from all backgrounds, orientations and life experiences.
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