Position: Chief Executive Officer
Organization: Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
About Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation:
Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation History
Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation (“PCBC”) is an independent public media organization, home to news/journalism via WESA 90.5FM and adult alternative music via WYEP 91.3FM.
WYEP was founded in 1974 and broadcasts to the region on 91.3FM. With the tagline “Where the Music Matters,” WYEP is an AAA format station, curating fresh, alternative music; providing community education programs; and presenting a large number of highly visible events and concerts in the region.
In 2011, WYEP acquired 90.5FM spectrum from Duquesne University. WESA, with a news/NPR format, is dedicated to informing people in ways that engage and inspire dialogue about global, national and community issues. As southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, it gives voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.
When the WESA 90.5FM frequency was purchased in 2011 by WYEP, the Board elected to keep the stations in separate nonprofit 501(c)(3) entities, yet co-located in the same broadcast facility and also sharing certain operational services.
In late 2015, the Board determined that it was in the best interest of both stations to consolidate operations into a single corporate structure. After the merger, PCBC has an annual operating budget of $5 million and approximately 50 full and part-time staff. The merged structure creates several new leadership positions, including the CEO role.
PCBC is located in the historic Pittsburgh South Side with easy access to downtown Pittsburgh and a variety of local restaurants and live music venues. Both stations broadcast from a 19,000 square-foot broadcasting center, which was the first LEED-NC Silver certified “green station in the nation” when built in 2006.
Combined listenership is nearly 200,000 and membership exceeds 15,000. All content is delivered by 50 full and part-time employees and many loyal volunteers. In addition to radio programming, both stations play an active role in engaging community members through in-person events and have a prominent voice in Pittsburgh’s civic affairs.
This Moment for Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation
This is a rare moment to transform public media in Pittsburgh. A number of forces are aligning that will allow PCBC to rapidly grow its influence and impact in the community:
First, Pittsburgh continues to dramatically reshape its 21st century destiny, providing a global model for what a ‘future city’ can be. In the past few decades the city has been reinvented, moving beyond its industrial and manufacturing past to become one of the country’s most remarkable places to live and work. Pittsburgh sits at the intersection of many attractive trends: smart cities, sustainable cities, river-life cities, green cities, startup cities, cultural cities and ‘foodie’ cities. Its academic and research resources, including Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, act as a magnet for talent in the technologies defining the new economy, including artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, software engineering, renewable energy, cyber security and manufacturing innovation. World-class tech companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Uber have become strong corporate citizens. The city has become attractive to millennial professionals at an unprecedented pace and is growing its diverse, creative class.
Second, the city and county government are aligned on a common vision and commitment to Pittsburgh. Mayor Bill Peduto and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald are high-profile public leaders who share aspirations for Pittsburgh, including a goal to improve the lives of everyday Pittsburghers by building smarter transit corridors and connections, bridging the digital divide, creating greater equity in city neighborhoods, realizing the value of energy opportunities and reaching those impacted most by displacement and isolation. As an example, Pittsburgh was recently selected as one of 7 finalist cities (with San Francisco, Austin, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City and Portland) for a $50 million transit innovation grant from the Department of Transportation’s “Smart City Challenge.” This is indicative of effective collaboration between city and county government, as well as the cutting edge research within the city’s academic research institutions.
Third, Pittsburgh has one of the highest concentrations of philanthropic foundation support of any city in the country, especially with respect to public media. The Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Hillman Family Foundation and McCune Foundation are large-scale, private institutions that have helped lead Pittsburgh’s renaissance. Today’s visionary leaders of these foundations have a profound commitment to public media, quality journalism, creativity, culture, diversity, inclusion and civic dialogue. They stand ready to support the vision and growth goals of PCBC, providing tremendous development opportunities for the inbound CEO of the enterprise.
Finally, the state of commercial media (TV, cable radio and newspapers) positions PCBC for success. Similar to the plight of many commercial media organizations across the nation, Pittsburgh’s for-profit broadcast media companies are facing unprecedented industry shifts and challenges. As a result, the historic role of TV, radio and newspapers as public stewards of quality news has diminished. Public trust has eroded, creating a vacuum that public media can fill. PCBC is poised to ‘own’ the public media voice in Pittsburgh — to be the trusted, go-to source for reliable news, information and journalism, as well as quality music, arts and cultural content programming.
This constellation of opportunities, challenges, assets, aspirations and hope create an uncommon moment for Pittsburgh and for PCBC. The leader of PCBC will step onto a positive platform for immense change and greatness. With many of the strategic pieces already in place, an extraordinary leader can recognize this opportunity and execute against it.
The Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation seeks an exceptional leader as CEO for its newly combined public media organization. The CEO role is a new appointment, with full responsibility for all media platforms, internal operations and external relationships. The CEO will report to the 16-person Board of Directors.
Previously operating with two separate Boards of Directors and leadership structures, WYEP and WESA are now united under a common Board of Directors with the opportunity for each station to leverage their shared resources for greater impact in Pittsburgh and the southwestern Pennsylvania community.
The CEO will be responsible for building a new executive team and will assume leadership of the organization during an unprecedented period of growth. The CEO will develop and execute a strategic vision that incorporates knowledge about the changing public media landscape and the needs of the region. Through these efforts, the CEO will leverage the assets of both stations, as well as the investment of philanthropic partners and the support of an active WESA and WYEP membership base.
Culture and communication will be key elements of the CEO’s internal leadership, as s/he bridges two stations and their shared services functions. The CEO will utilize a collaborative and transparent form of management to lead the passionate and highly motivated staff for effective results. S/he will also work closely with the Board of Directors and manage its involvement with the organization.
The CEO will bring an interest in, and commitment to, civic and cultural life in southwestern Pennsylvania, including the willingness to participate in key regional leadership functions. As the organization’s chief spokesperson, the CEO will represent PCBC to its various constituencies – geographic, elected, donor, nonprofit, government (FCC and CPB) and peers in the public broadcast arena – and will create partnerships with other community-based organizations that leverage the value of PCBC to the community.
The CEO will also lead the promotion of the newly merged organizations as a single public media brand comprised of two distinctive products in the market. In addition, the CEO will lead PCBC and its two existing broadcast brands into new media, with a goal to leverage high quality, cutting-edge content over a variety of distribution channels—mobile, web, social media and community events—and the vision to embrace innovation around platforms that have yet to come to market.
Fundraising will be a key responsibility for the CEO, as s/he will work with team leaders to integrate the range of methods used to generate support for public radio, including membership, underwriting (corporate and nonprofit), grants, major gifts and planned giving. In order to continue the upward growth of the organization, the CEO will collaborate closely with the revenue team to engage and solicit foundations, individual donors and corporate underwriters. S/he will serve as the “voice of WESA and WYEP” in on-air fundraisers and when representing the fundraising efforts of the organization in the community at large.
The ideal candidate will have the following qualities and characteristics:
A Strategic & Inclusive Leader
The CEO will be an innovative and enthusiastic self-starting leader who can think strategically about PCBC’s future. S/he will seek out partnership and collaboration opportunities with foundations, governmental entities, businesses and community-based organizations to help advance PCBC’s mission and strategic priorities. Additionally, the CEO will be an inclusive leader who can embody and stay true to the values of PCBC’s community-focused culture and be committed to a congenial and collaborative environment. The CEO will be a leader who embodies humility and agility and who is able to work with the team to navigate PCBC’s multiple priorities and projects, knowing when to change direction and focus. S/he will approach her/his work as a constant learner and listener.
An Ambassador for PCBC
As the “Ambassador” of PCBC, the CEO will represent both stations to a range of external stakeholders in the media arena, philanthropic community and to the public at large. S/he will be an articulate, dynamic, diplomatic and effective communicator who will have or earn respect from industry peers. S/he must have the gravitas to work within the diverse spectrum of funders and partners. S/he will have a proven background in building assets coupled with a deep understanding that fundraising and development of long-term partnerships are fundamental to an organization’s success. S/he will have a strong professional network to further the mission of PCBC and the ability to convene support from funders and partners to maximize the impact and visibility of both stations’ work in the region and beyond.
Business Acumen and Management
The CEO will be a results-oriented leader who can translate PCBC’s overarching goals into clear objectives. S/he will draw on the expertise of Board and passionate staff to set the vision and develop a strategic plan for PCBC, collaborating and leveraging their skills and talents to further the organization’s mission. The CEO will have a track record of successful Board development and management. S/he will approach the financial oversight of PCBC with an even-handed and reasoned approach to budgetary decision-making based on a clear understanding of the strategic objectives of the organization. S/he will bring a specific understanding of and focus on developing staff culture and enhancing internal communication.
Content Area Expertise & Passion for the Mission
The CEO will ideally be recognized as a leader in public, commercial or digital media. S/he will have an understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing public media, including the digital revolution and evolving audience/customer focus. S/he must be able to competently engage around the full range of the organization’s stations and community offerings to its external audience. By understanding and appreciating both the journalism landscape and the AAA radio format, the CEO will be able to position PCBC for success, prioritize partnerships and activities for long-term impact and mentor staff to ensure the successful completion of projects. The CEO must exude a sense of intellectual curiosity and a willingness and eagerness to share his or her knowledge and understanding with PCBC’s diverse stakeholders.
A Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree would be desirable.
Alison P. Ranney, Melissa Madzel and Anny K. Chou of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please email Alison, Melissa and Anny directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
About Koya Leadership Partners:
Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.