WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster, providing a strong local radio and news presence in addition to a multitude of programs. WGBH Boston is the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Molly of Denali and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio and a partner with PRX, a leader in public media audio storytelling and journalism. As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH supplies content to PBS Learning Media, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors including Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars.
For more information on WGBH, please visit www.wgbh.org.
WGBH seeks creative and visionary candidates for the role of General Manager, News and Radio Group (GM). This candidate will ideally bring a record of significant achievement in media, and a track record of creativity as well as a strong awareness of leading ideas in public media. Reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer, the GM oversees WGBH’s Newsroom across all platforms including TV, radio and digital as well as WGBH’s radio stations throughout Massachusetts including WGBH 89.7, WCAI on the Cape and Islands, and Boston Classical Radio WCRB 99.5. Building upon their stellar reputation, the General Manager, News and Radio Group, will serve as a leader at WGBH and in the community and industry.
A successful candidate will ultimately frame strategic initiatives, create opportunities, broaden WGBH’s reach to larger and more diverse audiences, expand and steward resources, and target areas for investment. A thoughtful and creative leader, the GM will serve as the main public spokesperson, relationship-builder and internal manager at WGBH.
The GM’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Visionary and inclusive leader who is committed to collaboration, innovation, a free exchange of ideas, transparency, and mutual respect.
- Demonstrated success in conceiving and implementing high-impact strategies in journalism and programming that reaches, expands services, and grows audience and membership.
- Accomplished in formulating and executing strategy, developing new business, and establishing partnerships.
Deep Media Experience
- Understands and is passionate about the unique and vital role of independent journalism – with a particular focus around local coverage and engagement.
- Strong commitment to foster community and civic discourse. Knowledge of highly dynamic media and journalism industries and demonstrated ability to lead successfully and nimbly in light of rapidly changing industry.
- Deep understanding of the ethical and professional standards and practices that guide public radio, TV and media.
Business and Financial Skills
- An understanding of budgeting, forecasting, resource requirements, and an ability to align those in the context of a strategic plan.
- Forward-thinking and experienced executive, sophisticated manager of human and financial resources.
- Willingness and commitment to participate in fundraising and resource development.
Inclusive and Engaged Leadership and Management Approach
- Demonstrated success in attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse, highly-skilled staff including on-air personalities and producers.
- A management style that empowers colleagues, encourages teamwork, and generates excitement around new ideas.
- Willingness to address issues in a timely, clear, compassionate, thorough and fair manner.
- Clarity of oral and written expression, strong public speaking skills and ability to relate to and engage diverse audiences with diplomacy and tact.
- A demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence.
- Integrity and a strong sense of fairness.
- Open to and comfortable with risk and a willingness to chart new courses in terms of content, revenue, marketing, and audience engagement.
- Self-starter and an individual who enjoys working with a team.
- Ability to remain calm and lead under pressure and rapidly changing events.
- Collaborative partner.
- Energy, patience, humor and optimism.
The GM is the principal architect of the in-depth news content that cultivates understanding, insight and knowledge.. An innovative leader, the GM must be well-known and well-regarded in public media fields and/or journalism and must have impeccable credentials, exceptionally good judgment, a strong ethical compass, and a deep, proven commitment to WGBH’s mission.
The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:
Leadership: The GM will affirm and expand WGBH’s leadership position in local and national journalism and programming in a broad range of areas. As the leader for WGBH 89.7, Boston’s “local NPR station”, the GM will work with NPR, PRX other audio producers and distributors to bring the best programming to WGBH and Boston. In the highly competitive and complex environment of media and journalism, the GM must be able to anticipate, recognize, and respond to trends in the media industry, create opportunities, broaden our reach to larger and more diverse audiences, expand and steward resources, and target areas for investment.
The GM must possess the skills and expertise to work with a broad and diverse constituency that includes board members, executive leadership, staff, and the many communities WGBH serves throughout New England. The GM must also possess the experience, relationship skills, and political acumen needed to develop and manage relationships with key partners including CPB, NPR, PRX and the newly formed New England Public Media (NEPM). The GM will be a spokesperson and representative at station events and community fora, interacting with high-level newsmakers including political, business, and cultural leaders. The GM will work collegially and cooperatively with other executives, staff, and community members to inspire, support, engage and mentor.
Strategic Visionary: The GM will craft and execute a vision and strategy for WGBH’s newsroom and radio programming that is enterprising, sustainable, and responsive to changing consumer demands and new distribution models. The GM must be able to identify key opportunities for growth and excellence in programming and develop tactics and plans to seize those opportunities. The GM will need to recognize and address the complexities and rapidly changing nature of journalism and the media industry and be able to develop a plan to execute new media strategy as it arises, including digital, on-demand audio, podcasts, and smart speaker technology. Given changes in how consumers access and consume news and programs, the GM should have a keen interest in innovating to meet audience expectations and to gain a greater share of listening and viewing markets. In addition, the GM will oversee and contribute to the development of new radio programs and new news programs on TV and digital that appeal to a wide variety of listener interests as well as continue national and local programs. The GM will also collaborate with New England Public Media, a new venture in western Massachusetts designed to expand the reach of public media across Massachusetts.
Operational Oversight: The GM will oversee management of the daily and long-term operational functions of the department, establishing departmental policies and annual goals and objectives. On an ongoing basis, the GM will confer with leadership to determine the growth and strategy of the department. The GM will establish relationships and partnerships across the Foundation to leverage resources in Digital Services, Marketing and Communications, Membership and Sponsorship, Development, and administrative functions such as Technology / Engineering, Finance, and Human Resources.
Resource Management: The GM is responsible for deepening philanthropic interest, cultivating fruitful partnerships, and providing inspirational messaging. The GM will be focused on developing new audiences as well as be entrepreneurial in identifying opportunities and exploring ways to monetize and develop WGBH’s resources . As part of this, the GM will need to be persuasive in fundraising and enthusiastic in outreach. Partnering with the Development team, the Sponsorship Group and Membership will be key to all of this.
Working with partners in Finance, the GM will provide the vision and strategy for the overall financial health of the Radio & News Department and participate in the development and management of the annual budget, reviewing financial statements and other performance data regularly to ensure adherence to budgets. The GM will oversee management of the department’s 100+ staff, providing direction to managers on employee development, growth and recognition, and performance management, working with Human Resources.
Ambassador and Relationship Builder: The GM must demonstrate the ability to be a thought leader in public media with the skills to collaborate with multiple stakeholders. Providing compelling leadership in the community, industry and within the WGBH organization, the GM will be a spokesperson representing WGBH and cultivating relationships with key partners including CPB, NPR, PRX and the newly formed New England Public Media (NEPM). The GM is an innovative leader who will develop out-of-the-box strategies and have a collegial and cooperative approach to working with other executives, staff, and community members to inspire, support, engage, and mentor. The GM is a strong advocate of the services, resources, and needs of WGBH, fostering internal and external partnerships to advance the mission of WGBH. Internally, the GM will create an environment that values and exhibits transparency, fairness, respect, teamwork, and collaboration across the Foundation and that promotes organizational awareness, citizenship, and an environment that leverages the talents of all.
Additionally, a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Communications, Management or a related field and 7 – 10 years of experience in media-related organizations including experience in management and working at the executive level is desired.
Compensation & Benefits
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.
Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. Katie Bouton, Turner Delano, and Charlotte Harris are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
WGBH is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.
About Koya Leadership Partners
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.
Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.
For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.