DIRECTOR OF LIVE LISTENING, WBUR Programming & Production (23500497830510)

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Boston, MASSACHUSETTS
Job Type: PartTime

Who We Are & What We Can Offer You:

WBUR is Boston’s NPR and a public media leader, producing exceptional journalism on-air, online, on demand and in real life. Our mission is to provide high-quality journalism and enriching experiences that foster understanding, connection and community for an expanding circle of people. WBUR is member-supported and licensed to Boston University.

Employees at WBUR are a team of professionals who value truth, diverse perspectives and candid debate, creating a culture of mutual respect, passion, and belonging.

We’ve got exciting plans to keep innovating and building WBUR for the future.

We’re growing. And you’ll grow too.

We offer our employees a hybrid workplace, with a mix of remote, hybrid, and in-person work arrangements.

We also offer:

The Opportunity and Who You’ll Work With:

As our Director of Live Listening, you will provide active daily leadership in growing audiences and revenue on behalf of WBUR’s live listening experiences, and supporting audience, engagement and revenue goals for all other WBUR platforms.  Alongside the Chief Content Officer, Executive Editor for News, and Managing Producer, you will nurture an “audience first” culture, along with a bias toward action in project and services planning.

Your Topline Goals:

  • Ongoing work in close coordination with executive leadership to grow listening habits to WBUR.
  • Solidify and reinforce WBUR’s position as a first-choice news station in Greater Boston by amplifying local and national journalism each day.
  • Interrogate and refine formatics and presentation to elevate and distinguish WBUR’s live listening experience and stationality.
  • Serve as an additional strategic thought partner to senior leaders, tracking and maximizing live listening.
  • Support a bias towards action – things will need to evolve for WBUR to grow live listening.
  • Represent WBUR’s interests with content partners (new and existing) and programming opportunities.


  • Reimagine WBUR’s logs and formatics to optimize time for live news through the day, along with priority messaging from across the organization. This work includes news presentation strategies, promotion and audience-building priorities, and each moment of every local break.
  • Work across the organization, convene regular “managing our messages” meetings to coordinate priorities and build collaboration around how to use air effectively.
  • Once formatic and promo priorities are established, work directly with Programming, News, Marketing, Traffic and others to socialize any required changes to WBUR’s SOP.
  • Optimize and focus the WBUR day sheet to focus on major news coverage across each day.
  • Communicate and manage breaking news-special coverage opportunities on behalf of local broadcast demands and stakeholders.
  • Provide ongoing listening notes to WBUR’s CCO, Executive Editor, Managing Producer and others.
  • Support monthly air-checks with on-air hosts and anchors..
  • Participate in daily news meetings, and manage operations and promotional planning for special coverage and developing news.
  • Analyze monthly audience data and provide topline insights and recommendations on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and progress against goals/KPI’s.
  • Recommend schedule adjustments based on audience research, system trends, and the local media environment.
  • As helpful, serve as a sounding board/resource for formatic and station service questions about WBUR’s national programming.
  • Represent WBUR through programming partnership examinations and growth opportunities (partner & station introductions, audience and revenue analysis support, program director relations including PRPD networking, more).

Presentation and Stationality:

  • Based on listening sessions and guidance from leadership, recommend steps to enhance WBUR’s stationality, vibrancy, and pride of place in Boston.
  • Develop a “Sound+Style” guide for WBUR – defining the aesthetic and personality of the station.
  • Create workflows and feedback loops that steadily move WBUR towards a more modern sound and pacing.
  • Continue to refine and integrate all live read copy using a more modern, and conversational style.
  • Collaborate with Membership on news-driven messaging and break design during pledge drives. Minimize audience disruption and maximize revenue based on current listening patterns.

Cross-Platform Audience Building:

  • Collaborate with new Cross Platform director, News, Podcasting, Newsletters, Social and other teams to coordinate and optimize audience flow and growth across WBUR platforms.
  • Create new opportunities and workflows to elevate WBUR’s enterprise journalism and most creative work.
  • Design experiments to grow podcast audiences.
  • Based on listening patterns, design promotion strategies to build audiences on mobile and smart speakers.
  • Refine and align the use of air to promote WBUR events, and other station audience priorities.

What You’ll Need to Succeed:

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent/relevant experience
  • 8 plus years of experience with demonstrated experience in media, journalism, and production

Additional Capabilities and Proficiencies:

  • An excitement about WBUR’s mission to provide an essential public good: high-quality journalism and enriching experiences that foster understanding, connection and community.
  • Proven ability to grow audience through management of day-to-day programming
  • Demonstrated audience analysis skills
  • Proficiency with digital audio, studio production, and automation software
  • Adept at providing timely feedback and coaching
  • Successful collaboration/support with on-air membership/fundraising drives

In an ongoing effort to enrich our organizational culture, WBUR is committed to building a staff and leadership team that reflects the diversity of our city, region and nation.

Designing an organization where everyone thrives, creating connection and community that permeates our workplace requires real change across all facets of what we do and who we are.  

We must hire, support, develop, advance and retain diverse talent at all levels of the organization with a standard of inclusive excellence.

If you are excited by this opportunity and have a passion for our mission - whether you meet all or some of our criteria - we want to talk to you.

Please note all newly hired staff and faculty will need to be in compliance with Boston University’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Requirement within 30 days of date of hire. You must upload your vaccine documentation or request a medical or religious exemption (instructions ). For further information on the University’s response to COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 Resources site. 

We are an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. 

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