Executive Editor - Illinois Public Media

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, Illinois
Commensurate with experience
Apr 13, 2019
Metro Area
Full Time

Executive Editor
Illinois Public Media
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Primary Function:

Lead a state-wide team of journalists that serves both the regional and national audience. Supervise all journalism activities and content creation across all platforms under the Illinois Newsroom collaboration.

Illinois Newsroom, a collaboration of public media stations in Illinois, is looking for an experienced editor to lead our journalism collaboration, funded by the partner stations and grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and McCormick Foundation. The partner stations are building a model for regional collaboration and dedicated a team of reporters to provide in-depth coverage of three key beat topics in Illinois. The topics include education, health and environment, and state politics and policy.

The Executive Editor is based in Urbana, at Illinois Public Media. The editor leads the team of journalists and is responsible for the overall editorial strategy of the collaboration. This role works with stations and reporters across the state, coordinates with the statewide talk show "The 21st," and serves as the primary liaison between journalists in the collaboration, local stations and national networks and shows. Must be a proven editor who's equally comfortable on digital platforms, a leader who can confidently and smoothly work at a distance with reporters and editors scattered across the state and with leaders of national shows and networks. Project-management and communications skills are key. Also, must embrace and propagate best practices in editing, ethics and diversity.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and implement the editorial focus of the Regional Journalism Collaborations (RJC); design and execute all aspects of the editorial process.
  • Oversee management of the RJC to ensure that all of the contractual requirements and deliverables are met with CPB, other funders and partners.
  • Develop a content and distribution strategy to include broadcast, online, social media and community engagement.
  • Recruit and hire new employees.
  • Develop partnerships with other media organizations, including national program partners, and develop stories for national distribution.
  • Develop a plan for assuring diversity in the selection of staff, sources and stories.
  • Serve as liaison between news and other department leaders, coordinating work on common goals and leading collaboration on common work.
  • Direct and coordinate the work of assigned reporters including training needs.
  • Work with reporters to research, gather data and develop stories, edit scripts and distribute content across appropriate channels to educate and inform the audience.
  • Plan and implement a social media strategy and community engagement strategy.
  • Develop a training plan for the team.
  • Coordinate coverage plans with the statewide talk show "The 21st".
  • Coordinate with Engagement Strategist on community outreach and audience-driven engagement.
  • Ensure that all delivery platforms are served, meeting goals for frequency of content: audio packages for radio; television packages; web content; social content.
  • Demonstrate sound news judgment, the highest journalistic ethics and an understanding of the sound and role of public media to inform, educate and engage communities.
  • Share emerging best practices to help inform the journalism on other topics, both within partner stations and within the larger public media universe.
  • Encourage a culture that fosters strong execution as a unit while creating the expectation of teamwork with the partner station newsrooms.
  • Set measurable goals for each member of the team and hold team members accountable.
  • Participate in events and fund-raisers/membership drives.
  • Participate in pledge drive training's and as pledge talent during fund drives.
  • Participate in marketing activities, community engagement projects and other audience interactions as assigned on behalf of Illinois Public Media, including interacting with audiences on our social media platforms.

Position Requirements and Qualifications:


  • Bachelor degree required.

Education Preferred:

  • Bachelors or Master degree in journalism, communications or related field.

Experience Required:

  • Seven years of journalism experience, three of which in a position involving editing and/or supervision.
  • Experience writing for digital platforms, with active Twitter and Facebook presence.


  • Competency required in use of field recording equipment, digital audio editing equipment, web publishing platform and social media best practices.

Knowledge Requirements:

  • Strong leadership skills and ability to guide and inspire everyone from an intern to a rookie reporter to an experienced veteran.
  • A proven record of editing public radio stories at a national-level quality.
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects/priorities, often on deadline.
  • Knowledge of/experience in audio production and editing.
  • Flexibility and speed, with wide-ranging interests and a distinctive writing "voice."
  • Ability to connect local, regional and national current events and issues in ways that are relevant to the audience.
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely for broadcast and web.
  • Extensive familiarity with world, national, regional and local issues.
  • Familiarity with radio formats, public radio core values, program schedules and timing. Familiarity with libel rules, social media policies and best practices.
  • Ability to learn and comply with FCC rules, emergency alert system requirements, and severe weather coverage policies.
  • Ability to learn and follow the codes of ethics adopted by Illinois Public Media.
  • Ability to produce strong video content. Sound news judgment and ability to generate and edit factual, error-free copy quickly in breaking news situations.
  • Strong content editing/proofreading skills, including knowledge of AP style.
  • Strategic thinking, with the ability to work with others to put together detailed, yet easy-to-understand plans.
  • Passionate and enthusiastic about journalism, and emerging news opportunities.
  • Ability to connect with and maintain relationships with diverse communities and staff.
  • Ability to meet strict deadlines.
  • Ability to work well with colleagues and the public.

Application Procedures:

To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be submitted by May 8, 2019. The committee may begin reviewing applications before the close date but no decision will be made until after the close date. Please create your candidate profile at jobs.illinois.edu and upload a cover letter describing qualifications for the position, current resume and the names and contact information for three professional references. For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact Annetta Allison (217) 265-7648 or allison2@illinois.edu.

This is a full-time, 12-month academic professional appointment with a start date as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or criminal conviction history. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu).