WAMU is Washington DC’s leading public radio station for NPR news and information. It’s our mission to connect Washingtonians with each other and the world through balanced, enlightening, inspiring and entertaining programs of the highest quality.
The Senior News Anchor/Host serves as the voice of local and regional news during WAMU’s peak listening hours. The News Anchor/Host must make numerous independent decisions involving critical news judgments every hour, ensuring WAMU’s distinctive local news value is realized in every break. Audience engagement and station revenue are highly impacted by the Senior New Anchor/Host’s professional execution of the on-air product. This host presents local and regional news, weather reports, major Metro or traffic delays, underwriting announcements, promos and other local information as required. The position is also responsible for hosting two-ways,delivering breaking news reports and anchoring special coverage. The Senior News Anchor/Host runs their own board unless assigned a board operator.
As a visible and prominent ambassador for the station, the Senior News Anchor/Host is regularly scheduled to host live events and hold conversations to engage directly with the community. These may include, but are not limited to, moderating events, hosting broadcast specials to cover significant local news events, and supporting WAMU’s membership/development donor outreach efforts. The position may lead conversations about current events, community issues and social, cultural and political issues and other topics with diverse communities across the region as part of WAMU’s mission-driven content initiative.
This position plays a key leadership role at WAMU and is responsible for training other hosts, reporters and editors in a variety of functions, including, but not limited to, how to execute the NPR One Digital Newscast weekdays; on-air execution of our broadcast newscasts in Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition; and best practices of hosting a news shift on WAMU utilizing the WAMU Audio Style Guide. As a senior host, this position is also responsible for filling in for WAMU talk show hosts as needed.
Typical hiring range is $90,000-$105,000: commensurate with experience.
What you will do:
- Prepare, host, and deliver regional newscasts during assigned shift: Blends distinct personality with the “public radio sound” to develop a signature style that engages listeners and reflects the WAMU Morning Edition host attributes. Adheres to station guidelines and best practices and uses the program/broadcast log as a guide to deliver information including promotion of content and/or live events, weather forecasts, and other sense of place information.
- Conduct Interviews: Prepares and conducts live (or pre-recorded) two-ways and interviews with news experts on breaking news and other issues/topics.
- Record and write forward-promotions, station identifiers, and other on air messages: Reviews newspapers, online news sites, AP wire stories and internally produced news stories for use in the hourly newscasts.
- Act as a highly visible representative for the station: Represents WAMU at donor and community outreach events to bring greater visibility to the show and station. Participates in WAMU’s on-air membership campaigns.
- Design, organize, and lead trainings for other hosts, reporters, and editors on a variety of functions: Provides mentorship, coaching, and leadership to further professional development of staff. Knows, understands, and trains others in accordance with WAMU’s editorial policy and guidelines and is familiar with American University’s policies and procedures.
- Host special on-air broadcasts: For extended coverage of local news events and acts as a fill-in host on WAMU talk shows. Responsibilities include planning broadcast in consultation with producing staff, conducting live interviews of news reporters and experts, and facilitating listener engagement from live calls, emails and social media.
Your experience and attributes:
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism or equivalent.
- 5-8 years of relevant experience.
- 6+ years’ successful experience live hosting in radio broadcast environment with demonstrated ability to handle live format for highly competitive major market drive time programs.
- Experience representing an organization at live events and speaking engagements.
- Experience leading meaningful dialogue in the community on a variety of topics
- Demonstrated ability to work “combo”: operating broadcast equipment while carrying out announcing duties and hitting all network time posts. Must have experience working under extreme time pressure every hour.
- Demonstrated strong on-air communication skills with a conversational, warm and inviting presentation.
- Ability to be authentic, empathetic, curious, and make emotional connections with the audience.
- Skill in moving nimbly between difficult and upbeat stories with the appropriate tone and understands the value of pacing in a local break.
- Ability to handle controversial topics with intelligence, balance and tact.
- High level of proficiency in operation of a digital broadcast board.
- Excellent writing, researching and reporting skills.
- Hands-on audio editing and multimedia production capabilities.
- Experience building audience connections using social media.
- Excellent attention to detail.
- Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check