Director, Programming

NPR (Washington, D.C.)

Posted 3 weeks ago

A thriving, mission-driven multimedia organization, NPR produces award-winning news, information, and music programming in partnership with hundreds of independent public radio stations across the nation. The NPR audience values information, creativity, curiosity, and social responsibility – and our employees do too. We are innovators and leaders in diverse fields, from journalism and digital media to IT and development. Every day, our employees and member stations touch the lives of millions worldwide.

Across our organization, we’re building a workplace where collaboration is essential, diverse voices are heard, and inclusion is the key to our success.


NPR is looking for a smart, enthusiastic and collaborative leader to join our Programming senior team. This position’s primary responsibilities will include overseeing production of multiple flagship NPR podcasts, development of new podcasts and working as part of a highly creative and collaborative team across all platforms – podcasting, radio, events, video and written content.

You will have an opportunity to make real impact across a range of initiatives, while working closely with senior leadership at NPR and a highly motivated and experienced group of programming executives across the country.

NPR is an industry leader in podcast production with over 150M global monthly downloads. The NPR Programming division has dramatically expanded NPR’s on demand audience and journalism footprint with the launch of more than 15 podcasts and radio shows in collaboration with NPR News. Currently, NPR produces eight of the top 20 podcasts in America.

This position reports to the Senior Vice President of Programming and Audience Development at NPR and is ideally based in Washington DC.


Department Strategy:

  • This position is a member of the programming division senior team. Together with other senior team leaders, create and manage a comprehensive content and talent development strategy that guides the growth and direction of NPR programs for the next several years, reflecting shifts in American demographics and media consumption habits
  • Provide business guidance to Programming leadership, exploring diverse business practices possible for ever changing podcasting industry
  • Assist Dir, Programming and New Audiences with NPR’s diverse audience growth strategy

Current Content:
Supervise leadership staff for key programs in the NPR podcast portfolio, including preparing for their regular performance reviews, and making effective recommendations regarding any hiring, promotion, and discipline for these positions.


  • Participate in NPR’s Storylab development process, developing new shows; researching and developing show ideas from both internal and external sources
  • Foster an internal “culture of creativity,” tapping into talent both inside and beyond public media
  • Maintain relationships with current and potential contributors to NPR
  • Guide show production pilot development through post-production; includes script, creative, casting, staffing, and production supervision

Operational & Divisional:

  • Support NPR’s standards of excellence, including production quality as well as fairness, objectivity, and balance
  • Work across departments to develop and sustain revenue opportunities for new and existing products
  • Work across NPR’s multiple divisions to foster strong communication and support for programming’s content
  • Engage in the podcasting and public media communities, positioning NPR as the premier creative, business, and strategic content partner
  • Develop and manage budgets
  • Execute contracts with outside partners


EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience.


  • At least 8+ years’ experience in program development and production, with an emphasis on rich storytelling.
  • At least (5) five years’ experience managing people At least 3-5 years’ journalism-related research, with the ability to collect, organize and disseminate information.
  • Ability to work with a diverse team and be able to anticipate the needs of the host.
  • Ability to have effective communication and planning detailed logistics.
  • Demonstrated ability to edit and produce audio within tight deadlines.
  • Thorough knowledge of research tools, including computer access data banks.
  • Demonstrated writing ability.
  • Experience producing in and operating digital audio self-op facilities
  • Strong podcast or media skills, including proficiency in podcast planning, social media as both a newsgathering technique and, especially, as a way to distribute content.
  • Demonstrated ability to work quickly and efficiently under deadline pressure. Ability to handle more than one assignment at a time; ability to prioritize, anticipate and communicate effectively.
  • Ability and willingness to work varied shifts.
  • Proven ability to consistently work as part of a team, demonstrating at all times respect for the diverse constituencies at NPR and within the public radio system.
  • Ability and willingness to relocate. In the future, NPR may choose to transfer employees to other geographic locations.


  • Familiarity with NPR Podcasts & Programming
  • Resilience
  • Quality Decision Making
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Able to deal with Ambiguity
  • Problem-Solving
  • Learning Agility
  • Managing Complexity
  • Managing Stakeholder relationships

Does this sound like you? If so, we want to hear from you. All applications must include a resume and cover letter to be considered.

NPR offers a competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits package including health and wellness benefits, retirement, and work/life balance programs, as well as opportunities for career growth and development.

NPR is an Equal Opportunity Employer. NPR is committed to being an inclusive place to work that welcomes diverse and unique perspectives, all working toward the same goal – to create a more informed public. Qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, veteran status, membership in the uniformed services, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law.

Want more NPR? Explore the stories behind the stories on our NPR Extra blog. Get social with NPR Extra on Facebook and following @NPRExtra and #NPRLife on Twitter and Instagram. Find more career opportunities at and on Twitter at @NPRJobs.

Apply here.

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