The Company:

Boundary-defying innovation. Fierce independence. A deep passion for exploration and excellence defines First Look Media (FLM). We are a unique enterprise with one purpose and two missions.

Our for-profit organization houses Topic Studios, an award-winning entertainment studio that operates across film, television, and podcasts and brings to the screen some of the most culturally significant and provocative stories of our time. We recently launched our new Topic-branded streaming service, with premier, original, and hand-selected programming from around the globe available on Roku, Apple TV, iOS, Amazon, and Android with more coming soon.

Our non-profit is home to The Intercept, dedicated to fearless investigative journalism; Field of Vision, the filmmaker-driven documentary unit; and the Press Freedom Defense Fund, supporting journalists and whistleblowers facing legal threats. We live, breathe, and defend the First Amendment, and our programs empower the most ambitious voices in journalism and cinematic storytelling.

Launched in 2013 by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media was founded on the fundamental belief that freedom of expression and of the press, and the power of storytelling, are vital to both a vibrant culture and a thriving democracy.

The Position:

We are looking for a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to provide sound technical leadership in all aspects of our business. The CDO will be responsible for management of our Product, Engineering and Technology teams to develop the technical and product vision, strategy, and design that impacts the millions of people who interact with our content across multiple platforms every month.  You will be responsible for the technical execution of the product vision, as well as the ongoing team and performance management of the Engineering teams that work on those products. This role will be the author of the company’s technical roadmap and drive research into new technologies and platforms that we can leverage to push our platform even further. We expect you to be well-versed in current technological trends and familiar with a variety of business concepts.

You will communicate and collaborate with employees, business unit leaders, 3rd party partners, various platform providers and our customers to ensure our company’s technology strategies are aligned with delivering our goals.  Strategic thinking and strong business acumen are essential in this role.

On a day-to-day basis, the candidate will support FLM’s entertainment business that includes Topic Studios and Topic Consumer operations.  Topic Studios develops, produces, finances, and distributes feature films, television series, documentaries, and podcasts. Topic’s Consumer business includes a streaming channel portfolio (AVOD/SVOD) that distributes premium content across both owned and operated channels, social media, and large distributed platforms. 

This leadership role will also include oversight over teams that support our 501c3 non-profit operations that operates our investigational digital journalism magazine - The Intercept, our documentary film operations - Field of Vision, and our Press Freedom Defense Fund.

Responsibilities:

  • Provide day-to-day technology leadership for FLM and lead decisions regarding our company’s technological needs
  • Effectively design, communicate and implement our technology strategies to our employees, business leaders and partners.
  • Lead constant research and evaluation of new technologies that may potentially increase our company’s comparative advantage to achieve our long-term goals
  • Monitor system infrastructure and implement safeguards
  • Build processes for data protection and quality assurance
  • Define and monitor Product, Engineering and Technology - Key Performance Indicators and metrics that align with meeting company’s goals
  • Develop, track and control annual operating and capital budgets related to technology
  • Protect and manage sensitive digital information and content
  • Respond to feedback from stakeholders and use it to make improvements or adjustments needed to our technology
  • Oversee system architecture
  • Deploy and maintain a disaster recovery plan
  • Develop and implement all of our internal communication systems, including email and messaging
  • Other appropriately related projects/duties as assigned

 Background & Qualifications:

  • BS or BA in Computer Science, Engineering, or another similar field
  • MBA or similarly relevant graduate degree would be an asset
  • 8 years of prior work experience as a CDO, Chief Product Officer or CTO leadership role
  • 10 years of managerial experience
  • A visionary and an exceptional strategic thinker with problem-solving skills
  • Solid experience from working on some of the following key activities:  newsrooms, feature films, TV series, podcasts and documentary films
  • Must be able to multi-task and manage high-volume priorities efficiently
  • Build strong internal client relationships to effectively advise senior-level management
  • Be highly collaborative. The ideal candidate will have a cooperative, positive, team-oriented spirit – and a flexible approach to problem solving.
  • Exceptional leadership skills
  • Highly organized
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication abilities
  • Able to conduct research and analyses of technology
  • Able to use current technological trends to build a business strategy

FLM’s Technical structure

FLM’s tech stack can be broken into two groups. The websites (topic.com, theintercept.com, etc...) and the OTT (native apps and watch.topic.com and partner platforms like Apple, Amazon and Roku). There is overlap in parts of the stack for both groups, which use many of the same core systems and storage but vary on source data and end distribution.  Key components include:

  • UX and UI design
  • CDN partners (Cloudfare, Imgix, Cloudfront)
  • AWS, S3 Aspera
  • Google analytics, Jump, Kochava, ActionKit, Piano
  • Custom CMS and API: Falcon and Unionsquare
  • OTT CMS: Monday.com
  • Cleeng, Mailchimp and Wordpress

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.

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