General Manager

General Manager

Arizona PBS

Phoenix, AZ   |   October 19, 2020

About Arizona PBS

Arizona PBS is one of the nation’s leading public media organizations and has been a trusted community resource for nearly 60 years. With four broadcast channels and a growing array of digital platforms, the station fosters lifelong learning through quality programming, in-depth news coverage and critical educational outreach services. As a member of the PBS family, the station is part of America’s largest classroom and is a trusted window to the world. For 17 consecutive years, PBS has been ranked as the country’s most trusted institution above commercial broadcasting outlets and newspapers.

Through a long history of community involvement and award-winning programming, Arizona PBS has become an essential and trusted voice in Arizona.  The Arizona PBS signal reaches 80 percent of homes in Arizona, delivering news, science, arts and children’s programming to 2.1 million households each week. Its educational content helps prepare children for success in school and opens up the world to in age-appropriate ways. Additionally, Arizona PBS has created its own local programs, tailored to the needs and interests of communities across the state. These include the long-running public affairs programs, “Arizona Horizon” and “Horizonte,” as well as shows like “Plate & Pour” and “Art in the 48,” which feature cultural leaders in the community.

Arizona PBS is a community service of Arizona State University and is proud to be a part of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication – one of the nation’s top journalism schools. It is the largest media outlet operated by a journalism school in the world and serves as the hub of the school’s “teaching hospital” model of education.

The partnership with the Cronkite School brings the power of more than 1,200 journalism students, an all-star faculty as well as the resources of one of the world’s largest research universities, positioning Arizona PBS as a catalyst for innovation and community impact.

In the studios and newsrooms of Arizona PBS, including bureaus in Phoenix, Washington and Los Angeles, students work under the direction of veteran journalists to produce deep reporting, immersive storytelling and community engagement programs that serve audiences around the state and across the country. In this highly collaborative environment, professionals and students produce digital, social and broadcast content, including the nightly Cronkite News newscast – making Arizona PBS one of the only PBS stations in the country airing a locally produced newscast each day. Investigative reporting is also a hallmark of the school and the station, including documentaries recognized with Emmy and Robert F. Kennedy awards and the only Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award ever awarded to a journalism school.

About the Cronkite School 

The Cronkite School is one of the nation’s premier professional journalism programs. Its mission is to prepare the next generation of journalists, scholars and communications professionals while also taking responsibility for the fundamental news and information needs of the community through an innovative journalistic “teaching hospital.”

The school is located in the heart of the nation’s fifth-largest city, with easy access to news events, sources at major sports and cultural complexes, and government agencies and offices. More than 1,200 Cronkite undergraduate and graduate students study journalism, sports journalism and strategic communications on the downtown Phoenix campus. More than 1,000 additional undergraduate and graduate students around the world study mass communication, media studies, digital audience strategy and business journalism through the Cronkite School’s online degree programs.

Students learn from an all-star faculty of veteran journalists, scholars and strategic communicators from around the world. Cronkite students consistently lead the country in national journalism competitions, including the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence, the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competitions and the Hearst Journalism Awards. Cronkite students have won five international Robert F. Kennedy Journalism awards for reporting on social justice – by far the most of any university in the country.

For more information about the Cronkite School, please visit cronkite.asu.edu.

About Arizona State University

Arizona State University is a comprehensive public research university, recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the country’s most innovative university for six consecutive years. Under the leadership of President Michael M. Crow since 2002, ASU has adopted and implemented a Charter unlike any other higher education: one which calls upon the university to measure itself not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; which advances research and discovery of public value; and which requires the university to assume a fundamental responsibility for the social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.

ASU is a teaching and learning enterprise serving nearly 120,000 degree-seeking students across four metropolitan Phoenix campuses, seven additional locations in Arizona, locations in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, and learners around the globe through its rigorous online education platform.

The university boasts more than 800 degree and certificate programs taught by some 4,800 faculty members. ASU is the fastest-growing Research I university in the country, with more than $615 million in research expenditures in 2018, according to the National Science Foundation’s HERD data, up more than 400 percent over the last 15 years.

For more information, please visit asu.edu. 

The Opportunity

Access to trusted, reliable news and information, as well as at-home educational resources, has arguably never been of greater importance than it is today.

Building on its strong foundation and deep partnership with the Cronkite School, Arizona PBS is poised to elevate its reach, relevance and impact under the direction of a strong, mission-driven leader who brings a vision for bold digital innovation, experience in fundraising and management, and a passion for engaging Arizona communities in thoughtful, inclusive and civic discourse on the most pressing issues of our time.

The General Manager will develop and achieve Arizona PBS’ short and long-term visions, and will be a highly visible face of the organization in the business, government and civic communities in Arizona, as well as nationally in the media field. Reporting to the Dean of the Cronkite School, the General Manager will lead the Arizona PBS staff of more than 80 professionals, to ensure they are working effectively to support, and advance the mission and oversee an annual budget that is currently $20 Million.

Key metrics for success in this role include:

  • Sustaining and increasing Arizona PBS’ status as one of the nation’s leading, most trusted public media organizations;
  • Collaborating across the community to identify and illuminate key interests and concerns to drive deep and sustained impact;
  • Attracting and engaging new and diverse audiences on current and emerging platforms;
  • Ensuring a sustainable financial model and adapting to funding challenges in public media, identifying new revenue sources and strategies while optimizing current revenue streams for significant growth;
  • Fostering an entrepreneurial environment that promotes strategic thinking, experimentation, calculated risk-taking, accountability and operational excellence;
  • Creating a high-performing organization to provide a strong foundation for change and sustainability in a rapidly transforming media environment;
  • Promoting Arizona PBS as a beacon of diversity, inclusion; and
  • Harnessing the resources and capacity of the Cronkite School and ASU to drive innovation and set new industry standards for reporting, storytelling and community engagement.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics:

A Passion for the Mission

The next General Manager brings a sincere passion for Arizona PBS’ mission as well as an appreciation for its rich history and belief in its future. The General Manager will have a deep understanding of the opportunities facing public media, particularly across digital platforms, evolving audience/customer focus and new revenue models and practices. The General Manager is a strong, collaborative leader with a dedication to the mission and the ability to build a sense of shared purpose throughout the organization. It is imperative that the General Manager leads by example and always stays true to the values of Arizona PBS, the Cronkite School and Arizona State University. Moreover, the ideal candidate is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

Strategic & Visionary Leadership

The General Manager is a strategic and transformational leader with a solid understanding of the strategies needed to advance the work of a mission-based media organization, from funding to delivery. This leader will have the ability to survey the resources and capabilities of the station, the Cronkite School and ASU, and will bring a natural ability and desire to work collaboratively with colleagues and community stakeholders to define a vision for the future of the organization, with an eye toward expanding and diversifying Arizona PBS audiences and revenue streams.

The General Manager will naturally inspire staff and the organization’s constituents to see where Arizona PBS could, and should, be going and push the organization forward in a collaborative manner to drive deep and sustainable change. An innovative leader and trailblazer, the successful candidate will offer creative ideas to adapt and diversify Arizona PBS’ offerings and programs to address the changing needs of its audiences. The General Manager will be an inclusive leader who can embody and stay true to the values of Arizona PBS’ community-focused culture and be committed to a congenial and collaborative environment. The General Manager has the drive and passion to remain at the forefront of the sector and continues to develop new and unique opportunities to serve the mission.

A Skilled Leader & Manager

The General Manager will be a thoughtful and transparent leader with the ability to lead and manage a complex organization. This leader will bring experience building and leading diverse, high-performing teams. The General Manager will have a demonstrable commitment to a diverse and inclusive team environment, one that is able to establish priorities, goals and timelines to achieve quantifiable and qualitative outcomes. The General Manager will bring a deep appreciation for and commitment to working with the Cronkite School.  This leader will understand and implement best nonprofit management practices and planning, including compelling communication and effective marketing strategies, management succession, and most importantly, ensuring that overall day-to-day operations are aligned with strategic goals. The successful candidate will ensure fiduciary responsibility, sound financial management practices and accountability.

A Passionate Ambassador

The General Manager is a high-energy, charismatic leader who will serve as an ‘ambassador’ for Arizona PBS by increasing collaboration with the community and boosting the organization’s impact across the state. This leader is a confident public speaker and a natural salesperson who inherently enjoys the external side of the role, serving as a public media champion, working to inspire enthusiastic engagement and broader and deeper interest in the organization. The successful candidate will represent Arizona PBS in the regional business, government and civic arenas and is comfortable, credible and effective at conveying Arizona PBS’ mission and vision to a broad range of constituents. The General Manager believes deeply in building and nurturing a robust network of relationships to foster collaboration and partnerships to advance Arizona PBS’ mission and understands how to optimize the customer journey to build strong loyalty. This leader enjoys fundraising and is creative and innovative in finding new sources of revenue. The General Manager will be a dynamic, diplomatic and effective communicator who will have or earn respect from the community as well as industry peers. The successful candidate will be a strong verbal and written communicator capable of leveraging multiple media platforms to advance the organization’s mission and can enthusiastically articulate its value proposition to existing and potential new funding sources including members, major donors, affiliates, foundations and government agencies.

A Champion for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

The General Manager will come to Arizona PBS with expertise and proven results in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and a rich understanding of the strategies that support cultural evolution on these issues. Arizona PBS is dedicated to fostering a culture that celebrates varied perspectives, and this leader will fully embrace and encourage content that authentically represents all voices. The General Manager will help Arizona PBS develop tools to promote diversity, inclusion and engagement both internally and externally, and will be energized by the prospect of leading efforts to develop awareness to ensure equity. This leader will have a thoughtful, empathetic approach to DEI and will be known as an active listener and responsive leader throughout the organization and the broader community. The General Manager will have the ability to motivate others to action in support of a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.

About Koya Leadership Partners & Contact

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

Cheryl Stevens, Alison Ranney and Erin Lippert are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please email [email protected].  All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

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Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.