Job Opening — Champaign, Il. — Director, News & Public Affairs

I’m seeing more journalism job openings like this one lately, perhaps it’s a sign the economy is finally picking up, given that the journalism job market always lags far behind the overall economy.

Director of News & Public Affairs
Illinois Public Media (WILL

Illinois Public Media seeks a Director of News & Public Affairs to lead our award-winning team of journalists at WILL AM-FM-TV, the public broadcasting service of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The News and Public Affairs Director is responsible for the structure and strategy that will increase WILL’s significance as a vital and critical community resource providing context, understanding and a sense of place for the people of central Illinois.

The News and Public Affairs Director will lead a staff of reporters, hosts, and producers providing management and editorial oversight for the department, coaching, editing, story conceptualizing and assignments as well as working with other departments at the station, the College of Media, and community groups and organizations to deepen our reach and impact. The News & Public Affairs Director reports to the Director of Community Content & Engagement who reports to the General Manager.

January is job hunting season.

January is job hunting season.

Illinois Public Media is a not-for-profit public media service of the College of Media at the University of Illinois. Our mission is to enrich people’s lives through programs and services that educate, entertain, inspire and empower by airing the best of public television and radio programs, producing local content for TV, radio and the Web while working with community partners to address needs and concerns.

The University of Illinois is home to Nobel Laureates, MacArthur Fellows and Pulitzer Prize winners. The university’s library is one of the largest in the world and its Krannert Center is one of the nation’s top performance venues. Residents of Champaign-Urbana enjoy a thriving arts scene, an active night life, Big Ten sports, museums, parks and a growing system of bicycle paths.

Primary duties include:
Map out the long-term direction for the department that builds upon our demonstrated strengths in radio and creates a strategic presence on television and helps chart our web course
Work with the Director of Community Content & Engagement to develop long-range station goals, establish departmental benchmarks, evaluate daily operations’ relevance to the overall station strategy, address daily issues
Work with the Director of Community Content & Engagement to develop and identify a diverse pool of journalists and producers and diversity of ideas
Collaborate with NPR & PBS, other media (public and commercial) and community partners on special projects that deepen our reach and impact
Create departmental budget and pursue funding for long-term initiatives and special projects
Work with other departments at WILL to ensure continuity and good relationships that support a coordinated station strategy
Encourage professional development among staff and networking with professionals at other stations and national organizations
Encourage and enable staff to develop a deep network of sources and long-form stories that enlighten, connect and inform our radio, TV and web audiences and ensure those audiences see us as a vital part of their lives
Recruit and train students to give them newsroom experience and ensure that WILL benefits from their perspectives
Gain recognition for the station and for regional issues by creating award-winning programs, stories and initiatives
Oversee the daily operation of our radio news and radio talk programming which includes, but is not limited to the following duties: lead daily news meetings; assign, guide and edit stories for radio and web; set deadlines; work with reporters, producers, freelancers and students on developing sources and program ideas, story narrative and sound excellence; set daily and weekly schedules of reporters and producers; manage the job performance of reporters, producers, and program hosts; conduct air-checks; train and supervise staff; ensure effective communication between morning, afternoon and weekend shifts and between news and public affairs programming; manage vacation and holiday schedules to ensure on-air coverage
On-air substitute for Morning Edition, All Things Considered and local radio programming as necessary
Participate in on-air fund drives, station events and community engagement projects
Perform related duties as assigned

Minimum qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism or relevant field; four years of relevant journalism experience including newsroom management experience; sound news judgment; commitment to journalism ethics and fairness; excellent writing and editing skills; competency in the use of digital audio editing and broadcast content software; competency in the use of web content management software; knowledge of broadcast production and FCC regulations. Must possess a broadcast-quality voice.

Ability to: Keep abreast of the trends and issues affecting the region, respond to changes in our industry, provide responsible coverage in times of emergencies, learn the latest production, web, social media and broadcast tools.

SALARY and BENEFITS: Salary commensurate with experience but not less than $45,000. No relocation expenses provided. This is a full-time academic professional position at the Urbana campus. The University of Illinois offers a generous benefits package, which includes one month of paid vacation annually, health, dental and life insurance, sick leave, a pension system, and tuition benefits.

TO APPLY: Complete a candidate profile at and upload a cover letter, resume, list of three professional references, and both written and audio samples of your work. Please let us know how you learned about this job opening. Full consideration will be given to applications received by April 3, 2013. Starting date: June 10, 2013 or a mutually acceptable date. For more information, call Dee Breeding, HR Specialist, at 217-333-7300, or email

Illinois Public Media at the University of Illinois is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity.
College Name or Administrative Unit:
IPM, College of Media
Director of News & Public Affairs – IPM (A1300104)
Open Date:

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