Position Description

Director, Community Engagement and Live Events
Location Chicago, Navy Pier
Job Code 298
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media (www.chicagopublicmedia.org) is one of the largest and most respected public media organizations in the country.  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), delivers a weekly listening audience of over 550,000, and broadcasts throughout Chicago and the surrounding region.  WBEZ’s website, wbez.org, is a top-performing website, serving 1.2 million monthly audio streams.  WBEZ’s sister service, called Vocalo (91.1 FM, vocalo.org), targets a Millennial, multicultural audience through an urban alternative format that public radio has not traditionally served.  Chicago Public Media also produces three programs that are distributed nationally, the award-winning This American Life, Sound Opinions, and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, produced in partnership with NPR.


With a tradition of journalistic excellence and innovation, and financial stability, Chicago Public Media is poised to gain market share in a region where private-sector print and broadcast news competitors are facing significant business challenges.  Chicago Public Media is recognized for the breadth and depth of its local reporting, ranging from breaking news coverage to innovative storytelling and enterprise reporting, and through partnerships with NPR, American Public Media and PRX.  Throughout the years, the organization has won numerous awards for its journalistic excellence. 

With a strong membership base and consistent funding from a diverse group of corporate, philanthropic, individual and institutional sources, Chicago Public Media has a solid financial base from which to grow. Today, Chicago Public Media attracts nearly 88,000 members who support the organization. Membership represents approximately half of CPM’s total revenues and is the single largest source of funding. 


Job Description

The Director of Community Engagement and Live Events is a key leader in the marketing team reporting to our Chief Marketing Officer.   Primary responsibilities of the role are to craft engaging experiences intended to create brand awareness among new audiences, engage current listeners and cultivate members.  Core functions include creating and leading both small and large-scale event programs, driving experiential marketing strategy, and overseeing the creation and execution of all events and community engagement initiatives. 



  • Create overall strategy and roadmap of community engagement initiatives and experiential marketing for WBEZ and its associated brands.
  • Ensure that community engagement initiatives meet goals and expectations, tie into the CPM Strategic Plan, and support brand messages.  Tasks included development of budgets, production and marketing briefs, planning schedules, operations and staffing plans.
  • Build portfolio of live events which is profitable through ticket sales and/or corporate sponsorships.
  • Write and distribute project status reports, presentations and post-event recaps.
  • Work closely with Editorial teams to expand the reach of our journalism to facilitate the public conversation in a live platform.
  • Leverage partnerships and sponsorship opportunities to create unique experiences in the community.
  • Work with NPR, American Public Media and other radio/audio program providers to expand and build the brand and audience for WBEZ and Vocalo.
  • Oversees a department of three marketing professionals.  Responsible for the administrative aspects of this piece of the marketing team, including staff recruitment, personnel development and supervision.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent; ten-plus years in production, experiential marketing or related field, developing campaigns and events that meet organization strategic goals
  • Demonstrated track record of excellence in executing events at a high level in addition to thought-leadership in ideation and planning and strategy of events and activations
  • Experience in monetizing events through both ticket sales and corporate sponsorship.
  • Is a strategic thinker who can collaborate with the rest of the marketing team and across the organization to help build awareness for the station and drive community engagement.
  • Is passionate about the mission of Chicago Public Media.
  • Experience developing and managing budgets, leading staff and working effectively with outside vendors.
  • Strong communication skills. 

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.