Vice President, Programming

Arlington, Virginia
Sep 06, 2019
Metro Area
Full Time

Vice President, Programming


Team: General Audience Programming

Status: Full-Time/Regular/Exempt


Note: This search is being facilitated by an executive search firm, Stanton Chase. After reviewing the job posting, you may submit your resume by clicking "Apply for this Position" below or you may send your resume to


Reporting to the Chief Programming Executive and GM, General Audience Programming (GAP), the VP Programming will be in charge of the GAP programming and editorial teams.


The VP Programming joins PBS as a General Audience Programming content planning roadmap has been developed to maintain and extend reach, optimize content investments, and enable member stations and programming to stand out and compete in an increasingly crowded environment. By developing a GAP roadmap that extends to the middle of 2023, PBS stations will be empowered to expand their reach and impact in local communities, helping to deliver on a mission that unites all.


The roadmap strategy provides the umbrella for Quarterly Programming Initiatives (QPIs) and Annual Beacon Events presented by PBS in partnership with co-production partners, producing stations and third party production companies.


The QPIs will be built around specific content themes and the roadmap will provide a cornerstone for station engagement, marketing and development efforts. While QPIs are designed to provide an important long-range planning tool for stations, they are not intended to preclude other mission driven programs that PBS will continue to make available through existing programming strands and new specials and series, including original commissions and acquisitions.


Annual Beacon Events will shine a spotlight on PBS and its member stations to reinforce PBS’ position as a beloved and trusted American cultural institution. Once each year, Beacon Events will galvanize all system resources by providing a major rallying point for every PBS stakeholder. A ramp up period of at least a full year is built in to make sure there is adequate time to plan and coordinate development and production efforts together.


The VP Programming will operationalize the vision for the 2023 roadmap, while driving the editorial team across all genres, including news, public affairs, documentaries, history, science, natural history and arts programs.


Overall Responsibilities:


Content Strategy and Execution:

  • Operationalizes the vision for the GAP division – driving the editorial vision and direction together with the VP Program Scheduling, ensure a well-planned content pipeline of original commissions, co-productions and acquisitions to sustain an effective program portfolio and broadcast schedule.
  • Continuously recommends ways to manifest the PBS content vision, through “signature” program content and by identifying sources of talent to implement the vision (talent both in front of and behind the camera).
  • Encourages creativity and invention.
  • Co-production experience and familiarity with film financing and/or fundraising a plus.
  • Extensive background, knowledge and experience in digital platforms.
  • Has a demonstrated track record of leadership in building audiences, managing multiple priorities, and bringing new concepts to fruition. Brings both an Executive Producer and Production Executive mentality to the role in a manner that inspires and empowers producing partners. Leads with a strong attention to detail.
  • Serves as a public and industry advocate and ambassador to program suppliers, public media stations, other distribution outlets, at conferences, and to the public. Has the ability to develop and maintain relationships with public media leaders nationwide.


  • Regularly facilitates critical discussions about programs with GAP editorial executive producers, PBS producing partners and the member stations. Leads vision planning to achieve audience growth and meet service goals.
  • Oversees all aspects of editorial management of the entire GAP pipeline and program portfolio, working in coordination with PBS internal departments to ensure timely, effective and on-budget development, production and delivery of programs.
  • Adheres to and maintains accountability for all aspects of PBS GAP editorial, budgetary and production standards, as well as contractual and deliverables requirements for PBS GAP programming.
  • Clearly communicates PBS GAP editorial requirements and quality standards to outside production companies, producing partners and internal producing teams.
  • Reviews, edits, and approves preliminary and final treatments, outlines shooting scripts, production schedules, budgets, graphics, music, rough cuts, final cuts, final narration and final versions of all programs.
  • Embraces inclusion in the composition of the PBS staff and producing partners across all platforms.
  • Manages daily work, career growth, training and development of staff.
  • Fosters a creative and productive work environment.  Has a proven ability to develop and maintain a positive, diverse, creative, high performance culture.
  • Proposes and achieves measurable internal success criteria.
  • Has a track record of meeting audience goals and key business objectives.
  • Fosters collaboration and trust across PBS departments and with producing partners to facilitate support for content.

Key Selection Criteria:

  • 15+ years of creative affairs and production experience in a major television general entertainment environment with some background in public affairs, news, or a related public service content preferred.
  • Extensive relationships with top-level producers and agents.
  • Strong development and program creation track record of success.
  • Strong leadership and motivational skills, with a demonstrated ability to build relationships of trust and collaboration.
  • Outstanding strategic business, interpersonal, project management and leadership skills.
  • Detail oriented with the ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects in varying stages.
  • Has the instinct to know when to escalate issues to the Chief Programming Executive versus managing directly.
  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution or equivalent experience preferred.
  • Must have the legal right to work in the United States.

Personal Characteristics Desired:

  • Superior interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with internal and external individuals and stakeholders at all levels with diplomacy and integrity.
  • Willingness to identify processes and systems to facilitate the effective workflow of projects amongst various internal departments, production management, and legal.
  • Deals professionally and courteously with contentious issues in a high-volume, fast-paced, high pressured environment.
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to juggle a variety of tasks and multiple projects and to adjust priorities on short notice, while consistently meeting production and/or transmission deadlines.
  • Ability to manage internal and external client expectations on projects.
  • Knowledge of, or experience in, public media is a strong plus.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to work both independently and within a team.


PBS is an Equal Opportunity Employer of Minorities, Women, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities


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