Managing Editor

This American Life (New York, New York)

Posted 2 years ago

This American Life is looking for a Managing Editor with strong organizational skills to run day-to-day operations of the program.

About the job:

The way our program is run, there’s the Executive Editor who oversees editorial decision-making and a Managing Editor who’s responsible for overall workflow and generally keeping the trains running on time. This job includes big picture planning (what stories get produced when, what shows are coming up, who is working on what stories and episodes) as well as logistical details (who’s on vacation or reporting trips, how much work each story will require).  The program has over a dozen producers and a half dozen editors putting together stories and episodes. It’s the Managing Editor who runs the schedule, assigns show themes and stories, works with our producers and editors to generally keep oversight on what everyone’s doing, and makes sure things are going smoothly. All of this is done in consultation with the Executive Editor and the show’s Host/Executive Producer Ira Glass.

In the last few weeks of production on any episode, the Managing Editor coordinates with the teams that fact-check and mix all the stories.   

As part of all that, the Managing Editor:

  • Keeps track of who is working on what, who’s got too much to do, and who’s available to take on an assignment. This means being in regular contact with much of the staff, both producers and editors.
  • Communicates with staff about production updates, meeting recaps, and anything people need to know as we get a show to air.
  • Runs our weekly editors meeting.
  • Makes sure that producers who need training get what they need. This is something they manage in close partnership with the show’s editors.
  • Manages out-of-office time for producers and editors.
  • Sets contributor fees.

About you:

We’re a small team and we need someone who can truly own the task of keeping us running efficiently and strategically. You must have exceptional organizational skills and – ideally – an understanding of radio production, preferably from having been a reporter/producer yourself, preferably doing long-form narrative journalism. The ideal candidate wants to pursue the operations side of getting a weekly series to air, but also has good editorial judgment. 

The ideal candidate will also have:

  • Strong communication skills – both verbal and written.
  • Experience managing a production team for journalism on radio, tv, or film, with strong people management skills. You’re well versed in how to give feedback and have no problem receiving it.
  • An understanding of and sensitivity to racial and gender equity issues.

Since our entire editorial and production process is driven by the taste, observations and interests of our staff, we believe that having a diverse staff is the only way to effectively document the reality of life in this country with the proper nuance and perspective. A more diverse group of people putting together the show makes us better at every stage of the editorial process, from story selection to line editing. We strongly encourage people of all backgrounds, races, genders, and abilities to apply.

This position is based at the This American Life office in New York City.

This American Life has been on the air since 1995. It invented and championed a style of narrative radio journalism that’s been widely imitated. The show includes small personal stories, longform investigative pieces, and reporting that takes on bigger national and international issues. It’s heard each week by 2.2 million people on over 500 public radio stations. Another 3.6 million download each episode as a podcast, making it one of the most popular podcasts in the world. The program has won every major award for broadcasting and journalism excellence, some of them many times over. View information about the show here.

Please send your cover letter and resume to Please put “Managing Editor” and your name in the subject line and include links to work samples in your cover letter.

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Job CategoryRadio