Editor Leadership Development Initiative


See guidelines for specific qualifications.


Apr 30, 2018

Request for Proposals

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) seeks an entity to design and implement a professional development fellowship program for editorial leaders. The two-year program will engage 100 fellows (“Fellows”) in small cohorts with a customized curriculum of onsite and virtual training and activities, supported by ongoing mentoring and coaching, to improve the knowledge and expertise of public media editors (the “Initiative”).

CPB conducted an assessment of editorial leadership capacity in 2017 that identified a need for editors with a broader range of skills than currently exist. Today’s rapidly changing media environment requires editors who know how to work across platforms; hire and retain reporters of differing backgrounds and perspectives; employ data in reporting; manage budgets; develop partnerships; and imbue their newsrooms with a deep knowledge of editorial standards and practices. This Initiative will provide training in these areas and will also create relationships among the Fellows that will better connect public media newsrooms and advance editorial collaboration. According to data collected by CPB, more than 400 of the public media system’s approximately 3000 journalists are in editorial leadership roles. As more stations build newsroom capacity, and initiatives such as the CPB-funded Regional Journalism Collaborations create new editor positions, this Initiative will play an important role in ensuring that our newsrooms can produce the high quality, innovative journalism that underpins an engaged, informed civil society. Stronger editors make for better journalism.

The purposes of the Initiative are:
• To build the leadership skills of accomplished journalists who are promoted into editorial management positions;
• To support institutional evolution and accelerate change in public media newsrooms to better meet the information needs of our communities;
• To increase the number of candidates capable of taking on editorial leadership roles;
• To create mutually supportive cohorts for public media editorial leaders; and,
• To establish ongoing training, coaching, and support.

Please download the Request for Proposals below for detailed information, including application requirements.
PDF icon Request for Proposals408.84 KB

Application Procedure and General Questions:

Applicants must submit technical and cost applications through CPB’s electronic grants management system.

To gain access to the electronic grants management system, please send an email request to Erin Day at eday@cpb.org no later than Monday, April 2, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. CPB will provide access to eligible applicants within two business days. Include “Editor Leadership Development Initiative” in the subject line. In your request, please provide your name, title, phone number, organization name, address and organization web site.

All questions regarding this RFP must be submitted in writing to Ms. Day at the email address above. The questions (without attribution) and CPB’s responses will be posted on CPB’s website. Please include “Editor Leadership Development Initiative” in the subject line of all emails. The deadline for submitting questions is Monday, April 2, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT.

CPB will conduct an Applicant webinar (“Webinar”) on Monday, April 16, 2018 to answer questions submitted to CPB. Potential Applicants must register for the Webinar in advance by emailing Ms. Day at eday@cpb.org by Monday, April 2, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT.

Proposals for this RFP are due no later than Monday, April 30, 2018 at 5 p.m. EDT. CPB will not consider proposals submitted after this time.

Technical Proposals may be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Cost Proposals must be in Excel format.

CPB may request the Applicants with the top scores to meet with senior management at CPB’s offices in Washington, D.C. If so, CPB will notify the selected Applicants of the time and date.

Below is the anticipated timetable.

Deadline: April 2, 2018
1. Request access to CPB’s electronic grants management system
2. Submit questions
3. Register for Webinar

Date: April 16, 2018

Deadline: April 30, 2018
Proposal Submissions Due

Date: May 1-June 30, 2018
Proposal Review and Selection

Date: September 1, 2018
Contract Drafting and Execution

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 

If an applicant submits a proposal that explicitly involves one or more third party partners, will you confirm that CPB’s competitive bidding rules will not apply to the participation of such partner(s)?

CPB’s competitive bidding rules would not apply. If the third party is truly a “partner,” that party would ordinarily be a party to CPB’s grant agreement and CPB would not expect the applicant to have undertaken any competitive process with respect to that third party. If the third party is not a party to CPB’s grant agreement, CPB would regard that party as the grant equivalent of a subcontractor, and CPB expects grantees to follow their own procurement processes in connection with those third-party services.

Will CPB treat the application as the intellectual property of applicants?

Yes, submission of a proposal does not transfer ownership of any intellectual property to CPB. However, the terms of CPB RFP’s provide that the submission of a proposal grants a license to CPB to copy the proposal materials in order to facilitate CPB’s review and consideration of RFP responses. The RFP also provides that CPB is indemnified against any infringement claims by the party submitting the proposal. CPB is not required to return any submitted proposal materials to any party.

If an applicant raises funds from other sources or commits its own funds, does the existence or amount of non-CPB funding reduce CPB’s intellectual property interest in the resulting research and materials created, developed, or produced pursuant to or as a result of this project? With respect to any CPB intellectual property interest in the funded research and materials, will the applicant and/or its third-party partner(s) retain all rights in any pre-existing materials or materials created, developed, compiled, or produced outside of this project?

A grantee’s use of its own funds in connection with a project does not ordinarily reduce or affect CPB’s intellectual property rights in a project funded by CPB. With respect to pre-existing materials developed outside a funded project, CPB ordinarily requires the grantee to represent that it has a license to use such materials in the funded project and that any other party’s rights in such pre-existing materials will not conflict with CPB’s rights under the CPB grant agreement.

CPB’s online submission form for this RFP includes a field for “Revenue Raised.” Is it CPB’s expectation that applicants will raise funds from other sources? Or that applicants will identify additional revenues to allocate to the initiative, beyond CPB’s commitment?

CPB expects to be a 100% funder of the Initiative.

What range or level of administrative (or G&A) fee will CPB allow in project budgets? For example, is a 15% fee allowable, with substantiation for how it is calculated and what it covers?

CPB does not have any particular limitations on the amount of administrative expenses permitted under CPB grants. CPB grantees may use their federal rates or follow the methodology set out in CPB’s Indirect Rate Policy (https://www.cpb.org/sites/default/files/Indirect-Cost-Guidelines-3-20-2014-revisions.pdf). As suggested, a 15% fee would be allowable if substantiated in accordance with CPB’s Guidelines for Indirect Costs.

It would be helpful to understand what range or level of funding CPB is planning to commit to this initiative – what amount/s have you allocated for the initiative in your FY18-FY19-FY20 business plans?

Since this is a competitive solicitation, we are not disclosing the amount we have budgeted for the project.

Does the assessment tool need to be developed prior to the proposal submission?

Yes, the Assessment Tool should be a part of the proposal. CPB expects the Assessment Tool will be refined as the Initiative is implemented.

Will CPB share the underlying assessment and data report that helped to inform the RFP/initiative? That information would be useful in shaping the curriculum design and training formats.

CPB would like to get original thinking for the Initiative. Further, much of what was in the underlying assessment is in the RFP.

In this bullet from CPB’s RFP (in the Program Design, Training section on page 2) “- editorial integrity and best practices”: is “best practices” referring to all editorial best practices OR best practices for media ethics?

All editorial best practices.

The RFP calls for the training curriculum to cover “multiplatform editing.” Are we to assume this includes audio, digital, photo, video, and social media platforms? Is there weight or priority given to any of these specific skills? In particular, is there an emphasis on video, or television skills?

The Initiative training is intended for all platforms and media, including audio, television, digital, photo, video, and social media platforms.

Given the greater number of functioning newsrooms in public radio stations, can we assume that training editorial leaders in television skills will not be a high priority?

The Initiative training is intended for all platforms, including television.

Is the training intended to develop editorial leadership in both public radio and public television newsrooms?

Yes, the Initiative is intended to develop editorial leadership in public radio and public television stations.

If a media organization/s is selected to conduct the training, can journalists from that organization apply to participate in the training or do applicants have to come from elsewhere?

Yes, journalists from the successful Applicant’s organization can apply to participate in the training.

Will CPB identify and provide contact information for the applicant pool, or will the selected vendor be responsible for developing the target audience?

As noted in the RFP, the successful Applicant will design and develop the application and selection process for the Fellows, including a list of criteria for selection. CPB will be part of the selection process.

Is there a preference for training existing journalistic talent in public media – and should they already be in (or entering) editorial leadership positions – or a preference for attracting and developing new talent?

The Initiative is intended to build the leadership skills of accomplished journalists and to attract and develop new talent. However, CPB’s preference will be for existing talent in public media.

Does CPB envision that applicants for the training may come from both public media and journalism organizations outside of public media?

CPB expects that applicants for the training will come from both public media and journalism organizations outside of public media. CPB envisions the Initiative will attract applicants who want to work in public media journalism.

What time is the April 16 webinar?

Currently the webinar is scheduled for April 16 at 1:30 ET.

One of our development writers is working on the CPB proposal with me and the project team. Should she have separate access to your grants management system or can she use my logon and password?

There is only one logon and password per organization and/or company.