WESA Seeks News Director

Nov 5, 2016

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

The Vision

It is the vision of Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting for WESA to become an essential and integral element of Pittsburgh’s news and information ecosystem.  At a time when commercial entities are cutting back on journalism, we seek to double-down on our commitment to serving the communities of Southwestern Pennsylvania through insightful and engaging reporting: journalism that prompts consideration of and thoughtful conversation about the issues that face us…that doesn’t just focus on problems and challenges but on solutions and opportunities…and that ultimately both serves and improves our community.

The Opportunity

We are seeking an experienced journalist to help define our next generation of journalism, and to lead it.  Reporting to the Vice President of Content (and to the President and Chief Executive Officer) the News Director will be the senior manager of our journalism and of the news staff – leading and directing the creation of content that will find its home on WESA (Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station), on sister station WYEP, on our digital platforms and on regional and national partner media outlets. 

This individual will be skilled in leading the day to day management of a newsroom (from both an editorial and administrative perspective). They will display a level of intellectual curiosity that goes beyond the superficial reporting of the day’s news: as focused on the “why and how” of the day’s events as on the “who, what, when and where”.  And she/he will be experienced in the use of new distribution platforms, beyond traditional broadcasting, to reach new audiences.

This individual will have an appreciation for the value of “civic engagement” in the context of a non-profit journalistic endeavor, and a vision for grounding journalism in conversations with the full diversity of the Pittsburgh community. 

In short this individual is charged with leading our journalism and our journalists:  to tell stories, to cultivate conversations and engage audiences, and to strengthen, enrich and improve the communities we serve.

Job Responsibilities

The News Director has ultimate responsibility for the planning and execution of all of the organization’s journalistic and editorial content, on-air and on digital platforms. 

The News Director supervises (either directly or through deputies) all news department staff.  The News Director will work collaboratively with the Program Director and Programming staff to ensure that hosts understand and meet standards for on-air performance.

The News Director leads news planning, establishing beats, determining daily and weekly news budgets, story editing; she/he will ensure that the newsroom meets the organization’s production standards, needs and deadlines, both on air and online.

The News Director helps define and maintain ethical, editorial, artistic and technical standards for all news reporting. She/he assists the Vice President of Content and the Programming staff in programming decisions, and assures that the newsroom both understands and delivers on its duties with regard to programming (including pledge and membership drives).

The News Director is the primary contact with NPR’s News Department and its Regional Editor, desks and program producers; he/she also is the primary contact with other national and regional producers and content partners in matters related to journalism.

The News Director assists the Vice President of Content in identifying and reaching working agreements with potential news partners, then manages those partnerships on a day-to-day basis.

The News Director is the organization’s top news authority, and as such is responsible for maintaining the editorial integrity of all journalistic products and platforms.  The News Director has direct responsibility to the President and Chief Executive Officer with regard to matters of editorial integrity.


Editorial Planning, Scheduling, Editing (60%)

The News Director directs the activities of the news staff (currently approximately two dozen reporters, producers and digital journalists) to develop story ideas, evaluate pitches, assign stories, track issues and events, edit stories and schedule them for air.  She/he also has lead responsibility for planning enterprise projects and coverage of scheduled major events that allow lead time for preparation, as well as day-to-day oversight of partner projects.

The News Director serves as the primary editor, insuring that news reports are produced in an effective, timely and responsible manner.

The News Director communicates proactively with other departments (including but not limited to Marketing, Development, Content, Engineering, etc.) about the newsrooms’ plans, needs and accomplishments. 

Administration of Personnel, Budget, Technology (20%)

The News Director supervises the scheduling of newsroom staff in a manner that meets the organization’s needs.  She/he is responsible for management of newsroom personnel, including recruitment and hiring, goal-setting, routine supervision and performance reviews. The News Director has responsibility for the News Department budget — including annual planning, monthly monitoring, and routine supervision. She/he works with the Production and Engineering Departments to oversee equipment and information systems vital to news planning, newsgathering, news production and news presentation.

Community Relations and Support (10%)

The News Director helps ensure that the organization has an open, responsive and engaged relationship with its community and with members of its audience. She/he participates in organizational events, fundraising activities and appears as a representative of the organization as required and as appropriate.

Reporting, Anchoring (5%)

The News Director may contribute content on an occasional basis.

Other (5%)

The News Director takes part as required in Leadership discussions of policy, strategy and priorities, and in Special Projects as required.



  • A four-year degree— or its equivalent.
  • A minimum of five years full-time professional experience in journalism — preferably in a multi-platform local news environment.
  • Familiarity with public radio news programming standards and values.
  • Familiarity with digital production and multimedia story-telling, and practical grasp of social media.
  • The ability to work within a live program environment.
  • A collaborative workstyle, able to work effectively with internal and with external partners. 
  • Success in design and management of departmental budgets & administration.
  • Success in recruiting, hiring, supervising, coaching and evaluating a top-performing team.
  • Proven performance as a leader of teams.
  • Intellectual curiosity, and a willingness to question established fact and practice in search of improvement.
  • Superior communication skills, written and verbal.
  • Ability to meet multiple deadlines under stressful conditions and deal effectively with multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Perspective: the ability to maintain the objectivity required as a leader, and not be drawn into the details of a given situation.
  • A track record of unquestionable honesty, integrity and commitment to service.

Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corporation offers:

Salary commensurate with experience and an excellent benefits package that includes medical insurance, paid medical leave, 403(b) plan with matching contributions, paid vacation and holidays and a workplace culture that is diverse and progressive. 

Applicants are invited to send cover letter, resume, and three references to PCBCnewsdirector@wesa.fm. In your response, let us know how you heard about the position.

Please, no phone calls.

WESA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and actively seeks diversity in the workforce.