Position Description

Host, The Morning Shift
Location Chicago, Navy Pier
Job Code 324
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media

To nourish the public conversation by telling the stories that matter—stories that provoke thought, entertain, capture emotion and inspire action.


Chicago Public Media Mission Statement


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.


An opportunity to make an impact

At Chicago Public Media, we believe independent journalism is essential to a well-functioning democracy and access to fact-based, objective news and information a right of every citizen.  We serve the public interest by creating diverse, compelling content that informs, inspires and enriches.  We connect diverse audiences and help them make a difference in our communities, our region and our world.  If you are inspired by our mission and want to belong to an organization that inspires you, supports you, and challenges you, we encourage you to apply.


Job Description - Essential Role

WBEZ seeks an outstanding Host to guide listeners through a dynamic mix of interviews and compelling conversations about the day’s news on its flagship weekday talk show, The Morning Shift.  The Morning Shift takes the pulse of Chicago, and sets the pace of the daily news conversation – who and what to pay attention to, and what’s at stake. It also helps Chicagoans make sense of the news, their place in our region and what’s needed to make our community better.


We’re looking for a host to drive a fact-driven conversation each day that’s inclusive, respectful, and empathetic.  The best candidate will know how to find insights, surprise, and joy in the moment ­- behind the mic, at live events, and actively on social media.


Ideally, you’re steeped in Chicago news and the issues and people at the heart of America’s third largest city - or the most naturally curious journalist ever to move to the Midwest.  You must be able to converse and conduct interviews on a wide range of topics, from politics, science and business, to arts and culture. The ideal candidate will have a thirst for knowledge, an insatiable curiosity, and a delight for discovery. You’re expected to 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 to bring your full self to each conversation and interaction.


The Host will work collaboratively with the Senior Producer, the show producers and the Managing Director to craft a lively, informative and interactive daily program.  You will be comfortable using prep from the production team to prepare multiple daily interviews and elements, and setting an arc for conversations on-air and via social media.

You will actively participate in the production of the show and will share the lift in researching topics, booking guests and producing segments. Side by side with a great production team, you will help set the tone for the daily show, fostering an ambitious, supportive and collaborative dynamic on-air and off.  Our culture is not one of egomaniacs and prima donnas.


Key Functions

  • Host a live, creative and engaging interactive daily news and information program
  • Prepare and research segments, book guests and conduct live on-air interviews
  • Collaborate closely with the web team on digital strategy and employ adept and creative use of social media to promote ongoing engagement with the program and WBEZ
  • Craft introductions to interviews and pieces on-air and occasionally contribute written posts for wbez.org
  • Play a central role in expanding the program’s social media presence, serving as a centerpiece of its activity and guiding conversations in social media before and after key segments
  • Conduct extemporaneous, on-air conversations with skill and poise under pressure, including live breaking news events when necessary
  • Host special coverage as assigned and occasionally serve as host or emcee of WBEZ station events
  • Serve as a representative of Chicago Public Media to the community, which includes leading and facilitating public events as a moderator or emcee.
  • Other duties as assigned


Required Skills and Experience

  • 5 years of professional journalism experience in a broadcast or digital newsroom environment
  • Demonstrated talent at live hosting
  • Outstanding news judgment and experience producing work of tremendous distinction and community impact.
  • Ability to conceptualize and conduct interviews and program segments for content, accuracy, pacing, ideas, narrative and voice.
  • Ability to articulate your own ideas precisely and concisely – and to cultivate the strong ideas that come from other producers, editors, and reporters
  • Strong relationship builder and naturally collaborative leader. Experience inspiring diverse, inclusive teams to excellence.
  • Knowledge of the Chicago region’s rich diversity of stories, sectors and communities is very helpful.
  • Digital audio editing skills using Sony Vegas, ProTools or Adobe Audition
  • Strong social media skills
  • Commitment to inclusive and diverse sourcing and booking
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with the ability to track developing stories and an eye on next day’s news
  • Proven story idea generation and development skills required
  • Knowledge of Chicago and Illinois issues
  • Well informed in a wide range of topics beyond current events, including arts, culture, film, history, science and public policy
  • Ability to work well with colleagues and thrive in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to coach and train others
  • Deep commitment to the highest standards of journalistic ethics and the mission of public media.


Position Requirements

  • This position requires the ability to work a flexible schedule depending on news cycle
  • This position is required to participate in on-air fund-raising and public events as requested

This job is located in Chicago, IL. This position is represented by SAG-AFTRA


Working at Chicago Public Media

We at Chicago Public Media care deeply about our employees as we know attracting, nurturing 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, multiculturalism, 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 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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