The Opportunity:

The Executive News Director leads and helps design KUNC’s news operation with ultimate responsibility for all broadcast and digital news content. This position provides leadership in designing and implementing a strategy for KUNC news that ensures relevant and engaging news content is meeting the needs of our community. Working closely with the Chief Audience and Content Officer, the Executive News Director ensures that the news strategies align with the goals of the organization and takes a very active role in ensuring our commitment to DEI in all areas including sources, coverage, hiring, and community engagement.

The successful candidate will demonstrate commitment to the philosophy that community engagement elevates the journalism that KUNC provides to the community and makes community engagement an active part of the KUNC news process.

The Executive News Director leads training and professional development of all news staff and takes the time to ensure new staff are not lost in the shuffle. Through excellent communication and management skills, the Executive News Director creates a cohesive team environment, both with the editorial team and the full news staff, resulting in a high-quality product that serves the mission of public media.

Who We Are Looking For:

We are seeking someone with a deep connection to the audience experience. You are an advocate for the listener first. You are extremely curious, reflective and story-seeking that goes beyond the traditional. You use data to help make decisions.

You are confident in your leadership and mentoring skills and have training in DEI that you fully embrace and are committed to being a positive, innovative member of Senior Staff. You look at our content as not just “radio” content but ways to meet our listeners where they are. You are a builder. You enjoy hard work and mentorship that leads to exponential growth.

Who We Are:

Community Radio for Northern Colorado (CRNC), the parent organization to both Northern Colorado’s NPR Station, KUNC, and the non-commercial music service, The Colorado Sound aims to strengthen our communities by cultivating the mind and spirit - informing, inspiring and entertaining. To fully live up to this mission, we strive to include diverse voices and amplify those from groups that are rarely heard from in the media.

The KUNC News Team is a group of dedicated journalists, who are committed to telling the stories of our diverse communities, reflecting the people who live in those communities, and
amplifying their voices. We operate with a team mentality, creating engaging and
relevant content focusing on internal and external collaboration and experimenting in
content styles and distribution. KUNC is a news and information staple within northern Colorado, serving numerous rural, mountain and city communities for over 50 years.

Our non-commercial music service, The Colorado Sound, offers unique and diverse
music discovery programming. We are based in Northern Colorado but heard throughout the state, across the country, and around the world. The Colorado Sound brings the spirit and soul of Colorado to our listeners through a cross-genre mix of new music, familiar favorites, and regional standouts

Located in a pivotal location in one of the fastest-growing parts of the county on the front range of the incredible Rocky Mountains, you have day-access to world-class skiing, camping, biking, and hiking, as well as popular entertainment, educational and cultural institutions such as the Colorado Rockies and Denver Bronco games, the Denver Art Museum, and our beloved legendary music venues, including the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Nearby Fort Collins is a growing destination city with a major university, a strong, growing food and cultural scene, and easy access to rafting, hiking, biking, and exploring. We are within driving distance to diverse areas in northeast Denver and cities such as Aurora.

 

Salary: $71,000 - $85,000

Key Responsibilities:

Strategy and policy development and implementation

Working with the Chief Audience & Content Officer, The Executive News Director:

  • Sets strategic priorities and goals for KUNC’s news operation to successfully deliver on the CRNC strategic plan, including platform and programming priorities, topics and beats, and geographic coverage priorities focusing on Northern Colorado;
  • Ensures that strategy and policy development are conducted collaboratively and that stakeholders are encouraged to contribute ideas, concerns, and solutions;
  • Fully embraces, and is responsible for, having input on and enacting the news component of CRNC’s strategic plan, hitting goals and metrics consistently.

Team supervision and leadership

This position:

  • Has direct supervision responsibility for Assistant News Director, Digital Managing Editor, and all Senior Editors;
  • Serves as editor and supervisor of our collaboration reporters and ensures that the team is effectively communicating;
  • Is responsible for identifying professional development needs and opportunities for the team members and for assisting the editorial team in continually improving their skills.

Newsroom leadership

The Executive News Director:

  • Leads the newsroom, with a focus on strategy, planning, and idea development and sets KUNC’s news agenda, plans daily and long-range news coverage along with special reporting projects or series;
  • Creates and maintains plans for coverage of breaking news, and other special coverage and makes reporting and producing assignments for reporters;
  • Works to create a culture that values excellent journalism, community service and engagement, experimentation, creativity, respect, and teamwork;
  • Actively maintains a working relationship with various journalism professionals and organizations, including NPR and other respected news outlets and trade groups, representing KUNC News as a whole;
  • Closely guides the Digital Manager in areas of growth beyond terrestrial content, serving as a strategist and advisor on techniques and trends around audience growth and engagement;
  • Acts in breaking and emerging news situations to access the incident and its impact on community safety;
  • Leads the news team through up-to-date coverage by dispatching reporters to the scene and coordinating with the Digital Managing Editor around content;
  • Serves as the primary designer, keeper and champion of our editorial integrity and independence standards, ensures related documents are regularly reviewed and updated and that the standards are regularly discussed, widely understood.
  • Actively participates and coaches to help individuals do their best work, and champions advancement within the newsroom for talented, dedicated journalists;
  • Serves as the primary writer, designer and keeper of our editorial integrity and independence standards, ensures related documents are regularly reviewed and updated and that the standards are regularly discussed and widely understood.

Community engagement

The Executive News Director is:

  • Visible in the community and works to strengthen our understanding of the community through building connections with community members and organizations;
  • Ensures that community engagement is a top priority in the newsroom across all beats;
  • Shall ensure DEI source tracking is updated monthly, and is used in editorial decisions, that voices in news stories reflect the diversity in all areas and that partners are also embracing DEI initiatives;
  • Responsible for helping to ensure we are hiring and mentoring diverse candidates.

Collaboration management

The Executive News Director:

  • Oversees KUNC’s participation in various collaborations, ensuring that we are communicating effectively with our partners and that the collaborations are aligned with our news strategy;
  • Is responsible for evaluating new collaboration opportunities and existing partnerships to ensure that we are serving our audience creatively, economically and effectively towards growth of our news service.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Participate in on-air fundraising as well as station development and promotional functions

Responsible for management of the news financial budget.

  • Responsible for working with the Chief Audience & Content Officer on securing grants to expand our coverage and depth and assists with reporting.
  • Oversees news department entries in the annual broadcast contests.
  • Provides monthly and quarterly reports to the Chief Audience & Content Officer for distribution to the President & CEO, grantors, major donors, and board members.
  • Ensures direct reports and CRNC Senior Staff are aware of what the newsroom is working on (daybook) to ensure successful planning for promotions, membership, and major giving opportunities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Chief Audience & Content Officer.

Required Education, Experience and Skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree (Communications, journalism, or related field preferred) or higher, or equivalent workplace experience.
  • At least five years of professional journalism experience and a deep knowledge of the ethics and practices of journalism.
  • At least four years of editorial experience, with at least two years in news management or applicable expertise.
  • Proven ability to consistently work well with others.
  • Must reside in Colorado.
  • CRNC is requiring proof of COVID vaccination and boosters for all staff.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience with use/management of digital platforms and considers digital content and audience as crucial and important.
  • Demonstrated experience editing enterprise, in-depth, long-form journalism on radio and digital platforms.
  • Experience working across department lines within a media organization.
  • Proven solid news judgment, and a deep understanding of strategy in competition.
  • Proven ability to maintain high journalistic standards of objectivity, balance, and fairness

This position description is not designed to contain a comprehensive listing of ALL activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee.

SELECTION PROCESS:

CRNC has retained Livingston Associates to assist in this search. For consideration, please submit a letter of introduction including your vision for the future of news in public media and CRNC, and why you will be the ideal person to lead the KUNC news division in achieving that vision, as well as a resume and a resume.

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

Work Environment and Physical Demands:

  • The work environment will be at the Greeley office when not remote as approved or required to deliver on the position duties.
  • The Greeley office environment: 24/7 locked building accessible by FOB with overhead lighting with low-to-moderate noise levels
  • Prolonged periods of remaining in a stationary position
  • The ability to frequently operate a computer and other office productivity machinery such as a laptop, office printer, telephones, etc.
  • The ability to frequently and professionally communicate with listeners, donors, applicants, co-workers, and industry colleagues, via telephone, email, Slack, and other means of communication as needed/required per your position.

We offer competitive salaries and generous benefits including:

  • Health, dental and vision care with one plan that provides 100% of premiums for employee paid by employer
  • Employer-provided Life & AD&D as well as Short-term and Long-term disability insurance
  • 403b retirement with company match after one month of employment
  • 14 paid holidays, plus sick days
  • Maternity/paternity/partner/adoption leave
  • Flexible work environment with some remote work possible in most situations

KUNC and The Colorado Sound are an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourage diversity in the workplace.

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