Director of Programming

Minnesota Public Radio (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Posted 3 weeks ago

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is one of the nation’s premier public radio stations producing programming for radio, digital and live audiences and operates a 46-station radio network serving nearly all of Minnesota and parts of surrounding states. Reaching 1 million listeners each week, MPR and its three regional services ‘MPR NewsClassical MPR and The Current ‘produce programming for radio, digital and live audiences. 

American Public Media is the largest station-based public radio organization in the U.S., combining multi-regional station operations, national content creation and distribution in one organization. With a portfolio that includes Live from Here with Chris Thile, BBC World Service, Marketplace and the leading classical music programming in the nation, APM is one of the largest producers of public radio programming in the world. One thousand stations carry American Public Media’s 20-plus national programs. Its multi-regional station operations include 49 public radio stations and 42 translators in the Upper Midwest and California.

Your Role:

As the Director of Programming, MPR News you will provide leadership, strategic vision, daily oversight, and direct all MPR News programming. This position oversees the operations and execution of MPR News regional programs on the radio and online. In your role as the Director of Programming, MPR News you will report to the Executive Director of MPR News, with specific responsibility for establishing and managing the overall “sound of the service”, ensuring the programming, operational execution, and sound supports that reflect the vitality and depth of MPR News. Your role will lead the teams and staff to achieve annual and long-term public service goals. As the Director of Programming, MPR News you will lead the MPR News program teams, and all on air staff to accomplish annual strategic goals.

We are looking for a high-performing programmer that is results-oriented and data-informed. Your role is also responsible for on-air talent performance, 24/ 7 programming schedule, and station performance goals. 

You must be a short- term and long-term planner which means being able to plan a few days out as well as plan 6 months out to make creative programming plans that, for example, might reflect a certain time of year or big events.

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Position Responsibility:

  • Oversee all programming decisions for the KNOW-FM 91.1, MPR News regional radio network, and digital streams including planning and production of five daily shows: two magazines-type shows, two talk shows and one speech/documentary show. Each has senior producers and dedicated production staffs.
  • Plan for and execute breaking news broadcasts of regional, national and international events.
  • Plan and communicate all special coverage of significant regional events.
  • Oversee the newscast schedule, and MPR New newscasters’ performance.
  • Supervise 4 hosts and a Chief Meteorologist.
  • Provide regular “air-checks”, manage and coach on-air staff.
  • Recruit top on-air and news talent.
  • Oversee severe-weather broadcasts and planning.
  • Oversee voice strategy and production.
  • Serve as news department liaison to the MPR News network stations around the region as well as the liaison to broadcast ops, membership, marketing and live events teams. 
  • Set and execute promotion strategy of KNOW and MPR News network stations.
  • Oversee duel-format programming and promotions on WGGL-FM (Houghton, Michigan).
  • Monitor and understand radio audience data.
  • Serves as main contact for all national programming relationships.
  • Support show hosts through coaching, performance meetings and on-going feedback. 
  • Support digital strategies, activities, especially our digital audio streams.
  • Encourage creativity, invention and risk-taking in radio production to surprise, and engage current audiences and to attract “the next generation” listener. 
  • Coordinate programming for on-air fundraisers.
  • Foster a creative and productive work environment.
  • Create development opportunities for staff and training to enhance skills and foster growth.
  • Create and manage promotional schedules in conjunction with other divisions.
  • Help ensure that operating budget goals are met.
  • Oversee development and execution of any new regional news programs and segments. 
  • Embrace diversity in the composition of MPR’s on-air staff. 
  • Manage the training process for all on-air staff.

Required Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • 8-10 years broadcasting leadership experience, ideally in the top 30 media markets in the U.S.
  • Broad background preferred in public affairs and news.
  • 3-5 years management experience a must.

Required Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Fluent on podcasting, on demand and voice technology and trends 
  • Vision for serving public media audiences and attracting new audiences 
  • Familiarity with key broadcast tools, such as control boards, play-to-air systems and remote connections
  • Familiarity with Content Depot, PRX and other content portals
  • Comfort working in a quickly changing environment and a nimble decisionmaker
  • Ability to think creatively and to lead a collaboratively
  • Ability to work across the organization
  • Demonstrated track record of leadership in building audiences through effective radio programming, manage multiple priorities, and bring new concepts to fruition

Reporting To This Position: 

  • MPR New Hosts
  • Newscasters
  • Assistant Program Director/s
  • Meteorologist(s)

Physical Demands and Working Conditions:

  • Must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Physical Demands:  
    • Required to move about in an office environment and sit for extended periods of time
    • Required to move about in the community 
    • Frequent use of hands for data entry/keystrokes and simple grasping   
  • Working Conditions:  
    • Moderate noise level
    • Occasional exposure to prevalent weather conditions

Diversity creates a healthier atmosphere: All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply.

Job Features

Job CategoryAdministrative, Radio

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