The Board of Directors of Blue Ridge Public Radio (BPR) seeks a General Manager and CEO for this growing service to the people of Western North Carolina. Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, BPR serves a culturally diverse and dynamic population.  BPR’s broadcast and streaming services include separate news and classical programming. We have a committed, hardworking staff of 22, a budget of approximately $2.5 million, and a donor base of more than 7,000. Individual donors and business sponsorships provide eighty-five percent of our revenue. We are planning for an in-depth assessment of our facilities and organizational capacity and a capital campaign to address those needs.

Mission

Blue Ridge Public Radio (BPR) creates and curates content that informs, inspires, connects, and reflects the people and places of Western North Carolina. BPR cultivates a more engaged, curious, and empathetic public by listening deeply and embracing diversity.

Vision

Blue Ridge Public Radio will be the essential, independent source of news and cultural content that gives Western North Carolinians a deeper understanding of one another and the world. We will innovate and grow with the region we serve, expand access to diverse communities, and strengthen trust to enhance long-term relationships with listeners and partners.

Our strategic plan, “BPR 2025”, is our roadmap for where we want our next leader to take us. 

We seek a culturally fluent and well-developed leader, with both breadth and depth, who will help us:

  • Continue to diversify and develop our staff and board, programming, and audience.
  • Navigate the changing media landscape and grow our presence and impact throughout the region.
  • Continue to strengthen our staff, organizational resiliency, and organizational sustainability.

The Board and staff of Blue Ridge Public Radio have developed a profile of the ideal leader for our organization. We will consider candidates who most clearly reflect the following:

Leadership and Vision

A powerful leader who collaboratively builds and compellingly communicates a vision for BPR, including in journalism, community engagement, and continued growth in revenues. An energetic, externally focused individual with a high level of emotional intelligence, who will help BPR become an even more significant organization that remains financially healthy and increases its service to the Western North Carolina region. We seek a leader with:

  • Demonstrated ability to listen to and communicate with diverse stakeholders.
  • An open leadership style and is an effective decision-maker and agent for change.
  • Comfort with risk.
  • Ability to provide clear direction and accountability for organizational results.
  • A future orientation; able to see and understand trends in media and related fields and their potential impact or opportunities for the organization.
  • Knowledge about and the ability to lead the transition from analog to digital media.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A record of strong commitment to and results in increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, in audiences, and in communities served. We seek a leader with:

  • A high level of expertise in DEI best practices including understanding and addressing implicit bias and microaggression, creating an inclusive workplace, and promotion of civility.
  • Cultural fluency, awareness, and empathy; demonstrated respect for the values of others, treats all people as individuals, sees and uses different perspectives, and has experience in other cultures.
  • Expertise in diversity-focused hiring practices from position announcements to recruiting and interviewing.
  • Understanding and effectiveness at growing and maintaining inclusion and a sense of belonging across organizations.
  • Demonstrated evidence of being able to adapt leadership style to current context and realities.

Integrity

Our greatest asset is the trust that our listeners, staff, and supporters have in our journalism, programming, and in BPR as an organization. We seek a leader with:

  • High standards of personal integrity and expectation of that in others.
  • A record of being trustworthy and of trusting others.
  • A high level of transparency.
  • Courage and ethics and a strong awareness of self.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, confront, analyze, and resolve ethically ambiguous issues and potential or real conflicts of interest, both for themselves and for others in the organization.
  • A clear understanding and is a guardian of BPR’s journalistic firewall and editorial independence.

People and Team Management 

Inspiring, respectful, collaborative, and highly competent manager of people and teams. We seek a leader with:

  • Ability to create and maintain an effective, aligned, and cross-functional culture of engaged professionals. 
  • Ability to adjust their leadership style as needed, collaborating, enrolling, delegating, and directing as required by the situation.
  • Skilled at managing conflict, both limiting unhealthy and encouraging healthy conflict; knowledgeable of and intentional about the practice of conflict management. 
  • The desire to and practice of seeking input from staff and is comfortable with being respectfully challenged.

Financial Acumen and Integrity

Experienced and competent financial manager with the ability to help the staff in all departments increase their financial literacy. We seek a leader with:

  • Advanced business knowledge with the ability to deal with complex financial environments and balancing multiple financial priorities.
  • Success in developing budgets and use of the budget to hold the organization accountable.
  • Experience with forecasting cash flows and planning for needed capital upgrades in facilities and technology.
  • A record of appropriately sharing of financial information with the staff, the Board, and the public.
  • The ability to clearly explain complex business situations to the staff, the Board, and the public.
  • The ability to conceive of and develop alternative revenue streams.

Communication

Highly developed public and private interpersonal skills. We seek a leader with:

  • Skill and experience being an articulate and effective spokesperson for the organization and is comfortable being the public face of the station.
  • A record of being an organized thinker, effective writer, and speaker.
  • A record of empathic listening.

Relationship Building

Skillful at establishing and building relationships with leaders throughout Western North Carolina. We seek a leader with:

  • The ability to continue to grow BPR’s presence in Western North Carolina through developing appropriate relationships with community leaders; will over a short period of time become an active participant and recognized leader in the region.
  • A record of community engagement and collaboration and of developing partnerships with individuals and organizations.
  • A high level of energy for visiting stakeholders across the region, as well as authentic enthusiasm for all of Western North Carolina in its geographic and demographic diversity.
  • Ability to maintain our strong relationship with National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Fundraising

Effective fundraiser with demonstrated expertise in fundraising and resource development; excited about building resources for BPR. We seek a leader with:

  • Experience in asking for donations.
  • Experience in developing and leading capital campaigns.
  • A comprehensive understanding of fundraising strategies and methods in public media including membership, business sponsorship, and major and planned giving.
  • Successful experience in securing major gifts through effective relationship development through the sharing of mission and needs.
  • The ability to increase the fundraising capacity of the staff and the Board.

Change Management

A strong leader with success in facilitating the process of change within the organization, in particular the ongoing transformation of public media consumption. We seek a leader with:

  • The ability to understand the impact of culture on change efforts and to be able to successfully navigate cultural change.
  • The ability to prioritize and sequence appropriate change.
  • The ability to assess and adopt innovative models.
  • The ability to recognize opportunities even as significant challenges arise.

To Apply

Blue Ridge Public Radio is being assisted in this search by Livingston Associates.

As part of your application process, you are asked to also submit a resume, letter of introduction including your vision for the future of public media and how you will be the ideal person to lead BPR in achieving that vision. These documents should be uploaded when you apply.

Inquiries are welcome with Livingston Associates at (410) 243-1974.

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