Position Description

Managing Director, Content Development
Location Chicago, Navy Pier
Job Code 291
# 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 Oprah and the ground-breaking 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, digital streaming, and mobile apps.  Its flagship station, WBEZ-Chicago (91.5 FM) is Chicagoland’s premier media hub for high-quality, fact-based journalism and engaging, entertaining audio programs and podcasts.  WBEZ’s website, wbez.org, and its newly launched mobile app allows 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 format.  
About The Job
Chicago Public Media, the parent organization of WBEZ 91.5 FM is seeking a Managing Director, Content Development to lead the creation and development of innovative, diverse next-generation on-demand content and podcasts.
The Managing Director of Content Development will have a passion for creative collaboration, show conceptualization, and strategic thinking. The ideal candidate will relish the chance to lead and build a diverse and team of talented producers in the conceptualizing, piloting, and production of new shows that captivate audiences and forge new ground.  
The right Managing Director will be a natural collaborator, working effectively to build relationships in our newsroom, across our organization, and within the public radio system to successfully launch and sustain new programming. This will include the ability to work closely and productively with diverse stakeholders in marketing, development, digital, legal, and corporate underwriting.  
The best candidate will have extensive experience in content development, will bring compelling ideas to the table, and will take joy in shaping ideas from others. The candidate will possess an appetite for adventure and fun -- and the courage to try things that might not pan out. The candidate will also have discerning taste and judgment to kill things quickly when they are not successful. 
With a tradition of journalistic excellence and innovation, and financial stability, Chicago Public Media is poised for a new era of growth and is committed to furthering our reputation as:
  1. A place of dynamic, forward looking innovation 
  2. A major creative force in public media, producing original audio content across platforms that stands among the most celebrated, innovative, and beloved offerings in the world
  3. A vital, indispensable source of enterprising news and information that drives the civic conversation and engages a much larger, more diverse audience than ever before.  
  4. A beloved institution that exudes and reflects the texture, diversity and unique sense of place that is Chicago - and the greater Midwest
  5. A magnet for the very best, diverse talent around
Key Functions
  • Build the processes and hire the talent needed to establish a leading on-demand programming division at WBEZ;
  • Establish a production process that allows the division to pilot 6 to 8 new projects/shows each year with the goal of having 2 – 4 develop into standalone, sustainable products;
  • Lead projects from vision, to pilot and production phases;
  • Set performance goals for new programs and track, report and optimize; Make clear, decisive determinations about which projects to support and which to cease supporting;
  • Work across the organization to conceptualize and implement audience development strategies to insure the success of the portfolio of new programs;
  • Ability to scout talent from outside the organization and leverage existing brands that would translate into effective audio programs;
  • Identify, recruit, hire, evaluate and develop creative talent. Skillfully deliver positive and negative feedback to groups and individuals. Rigorously evaluate performance.
  • Collaborate effectively with hosts, producers, interns, and colleagues within and beyond the organization to develop compelling ideas;
  • Shape and implement CPM’s strategic vision as a member of the editorial management team
  • Participate in on-air fundraising and public events ;
  • Other duties as assigned
Required Skills and Experience
  • Five to seven years of successful management and project leadership experience in an editorial, creative and/or media production setting
  • Experience in successfully training, mentoring, managing and growing a team with a start-up mentality
  • Ability to work in an editorially collaborative way – to articulate your own ideas precisely and concisely, and to recognize and build on strong ideas that come from other producers, editors, and reporters
  • Skilled at juggling a variety of daily tasks, with a demonstrated expertise in effective project management 
  • Excellent writing, editing, communication and organizational skills.
  • Ability to use and identify content metrics to chart progress and make informed decisions
  • Ability to identify top talent, cultivate ideas, build relationships and close content deals with internal and external partners
  • Extensive knowledge of current trends in on-demand content and podcasting, including creative trends, audience development, corporate sponsorship, IP, and distribution platforms.
  • Thoughtful, creative, energetic, collegial, calm under pressure and flexible
  • Bachelor’s degree in related field or equivalent training and professional experience
This job is located in Chicago, IL. 
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.
At Chicago Public Media, we are looking for people who are curious about the world and have an excitement for the mission of independent, nonprofit journalism. If it sounds like you would be a good fit for our team, apply today. 
Chicago Public Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer, an Affirmative Action Employer and actively seeks talented people from all backgrounds, orientations and walks of life.