Job Description:

PBS Western Reserve is searching for a dynamic leader to serve as their next President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to manage operations and serve as the external ambassador of their renowned Public Television Station. With market coverage across the 13-county megapolitan area of Northeast Ohio serving over 4.5 million people residing in five major cities and over 425 cities, towns, townships and villages in between, PBS Western Reserve reaches the largest population among Ohio’s eight PBS member stations.

The CEO reports to the Board of Directors, will be directly responsible for all station activities and will provide an innovative, creative and strategic vision for PBS Western Reserve as they seek to maintain and expand their position across several platforms, while navigating the continual transformation of digital media. PBS Western Reserve airs 35,040 hours a year of commercial-free television on three broadcast services. With a new broadcast production studio, Blogosphere, podcast/vlog studio and several strategic initiatives already in the works, the organization is poised to transition from a traditional public broadcast television station to a new digital media company.

The CEO of PBS Western Reserve must excel at community engagement and partnership building with the ability to deliver critical and effective fundraising leadership too both public and private sectors, while providing internal leadership and management of staff and facilities.

NOTE: Due to the very unfortunate passing of the recently hired incumbent, this position has been reopened.

About PBS Western Reserve

PBS Western Reserve is made up of two separately licensed public television stations (WNEO and WEAO) and an Educational Services division operating under the 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio Inc. (NETO), which was established in 1971.

Noncommercial educational license WNEO went on the air in 1973. It is licensed to the city of Alliance and serves the Youngstown designated television market. Noncommercial educational license WEAO went on the air in 1975. It is licensed to the city of Akron and serves the Cleveland-Akron-Canton designated television market. All programming is simulcast on the two stations. In 2021 the station established an umbrella brand, LuminUS, to provide stories about Northeast Ohio, for local productions and content.

It is the mission and purpose of PBS Western Reserve to see that the powerful mediums of broadcast television and broadband services are used to teach, illuminate and inspire through the presentation of consistently outstanding programs and lifelong educational services that are responsive to the varied interests and needs of Northeast Ohioans.

The organization continually strives to bring viewers cultural and artistic enlightenment and enjoyment; exposure to local, state and national public affairs of importance, and the opportunity for lifelong learning through formal instruction and general educational programming.

In the past 20 years, PBS Western Reserve has worked with more than 35 regional independent producers to create local programs and content about the people, places and ideas of Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

Salary: $175,000 to $200,000

Critical Skills and Attributes

Together the staff, Board and external stakeholders provided insights to develop a profile of the ideal leader for PBS Western Reserve. We will engage with and select from candidates with the following skills and characteristics:

Community Relationships/Public Presence:

The leader we seek will:

  • Continue to grow PBS Western Reserve’s presence in the area, has personal qualities the community/region can connect with, and over a short period of time will become an active participant and recognized leader in our region;
  • Demonstrate a record of community engagement and collaboration, and of developing partnerships with individuals and organizations;
  • Is comfortable and effective with a wide range of people, including at high levels (and being seen as peer) of civic leadership in the region;
  • Have a high level of energy for visiting stakeholders across the region, as well as authentic enthusiasm for all of Northeast Ohio in its geographic and demographic diversity.


We seek an experienced and mission-driven individual, who will collaboratively foster a positive, aligned culture within PBS Western Reserve, keep the organization improving its effectiveness in serving the people of our region, and maintain our strong financial condition, and who:

  • Is a respectful, fair and mission-driven team leader and builder;
  • Is a selfless, effective change agent who puts the mission and success of PBS Western Reserve first;
  • Is an empowering leader: Takes time to learn and utilize existing strengths of individuals and groups, and mentors and supports professional growth of individuals and our staff as a whole;
  • Has great people skills, and is effective with a wide range of stakeholders – from staff to individual donors and regional legislative, congressional, business and community leaders.


PBS Western Reserve seeks an effective fundraiser who is knowledgeable of and expert at the President/CEO role in fundraising and resource development, who:

  • Has a demonstrated record of success with major donor fundraising;
  • Is effective as a mission spokesperson and at relationship management aspects of fundraising, both individual and institutional;
  • Has a comprehensive understanding of public media fundraising strategies and methods;
  • Is creative and capable at conceiving and developing alternative revenue streams.


Our most important asset is the trust our listeners and the community have in our programming and in PBS Western Reserve as an institution. The CEO will:

  • Have clear, high personal standards for themselves, as well as for others;
  • Be both trustworthy and know when and how to be trusting;
  • Be an honest, sincere, courageous, ethical person of substance;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to and practice of transparency;
  • Demonstrate a record of being able to identify, confront, analyze and resolve ethical challenges or conflicts of interest.

Industry Knowledge:

Our expectation is to attract a person with an expert level of knowledge and media savvy, including trends in technology and consumption of media (digital, broadcast, podcasting) who:

  • Has a high level of understanding of the importance, issues and trends of localism, and ability to lead PBS Western Reserve in this area;
  • Is skilled at providing strategic management, including investment decisions related to maintaining effectiveness of our studio, geographically dispersed television transmitting and digital capacity;
  • Is technologically competent in the content area, fluent with strategic and tactical aspects of digital and social media, and able to provide effective leadership towards identifying and adopting new platforms.


To lead and represent PBS Western Reserve in various arenas, we seek a person with highly developed public and private interpersonal skills, who:

  • Can demonstrate being a skillful listener;
  • Enjoys being in a public situation;
  • Is an organized thinker, effective writer and speaker;
  • Is personable, inspiring and respectful;
  • Is an effective spokesperson for the organization.

Financial Acumen:

Experienced, competent financial manager with the ability to provide direction to staff. Ability to help staff grow financial literacy in all departments across the organization. Critical financial skills include:

  • Ability to deal with a complex financial environment, and with balancing financial priorities. Ability to develop a budget and comply with that budget. Ability to forecast cash flow income generation and need for facilities and technology investments;
  • Proven ability to make meaning out of complex business situations. Ability to provide context for decisions based on outcomes of past actions;
  • Ability to recognize and report key performance indicators to the Board and staff.


Through a combination of knowledge and insights about Public Television and PBS Western Reserve and the context it operates in, is able to generate significant organizational and service improvements, and:

  • Is an out of the box thinker, who makes connections quickly, is personally creative and able to act on that creativity; 
  • Is open-minded and a good learner who is not risk-averse; 
  • Has a focus on innovative models and conquering challenges;
  • Has a desire, persistence and resourcefulness to solve problems and make things happen.


In the context of ongoing transformational changes, the Internet is having on availability and use of media as well as societal changes in the external and internal environment, our candidate:

  • Should display an ability to project PBS Western Reserve’s needs into the long-term future;
  • Can see and understand future trends in media, in related fields and the world, and the impact on our work and workplace;
  • Has a learning orientation, including demonstrated methods for gathering, assimilating and making meaning out of information about the changing media, technology and demographic landscape;
  • Can balance vision with doing;
  • Is able to enroll others in working together to execute vision.

Board Relationships:

Working closely with the Board, the Executive Director is responsible for:

  • Assuring that the Board is kept fully informed of the activities, operations, and the financial conditions of the station required for the efficient and orderly conduct of business;
  • Overseeing the preparation and presentation of annual budgets for the consideration of the Board, and reporting to the Board on the financial condition of the organizations;
  • Maintaining continuing communication with Board members so that necessary actions can be taken between meetings of the Boards;
  • Accounting to the Board for carrying out all motions, resolutions, and directives approved by the Board.

About the area:

Whether you enjoy big-city sports, entertainment and nightlife or a quieter country setting, Northeast Ohio has something for everyone, including professional sports teams, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, world-class symphonies, museums and cultural institutions. Residents enjoy the outdoors at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Lake Erie, a dozen state parks and more. The area is the home of several universities and colleges, plus cutting-edge medical and research institutions. From rural countryside communities to several distinctly different metropolitan areas, Northeast Ohio offers great opportunities for those seeking a happy, healthy and active lifestyle in a region with a cost of living index 9% lower than the national average.

Job Location: 
Kent, OH
United States
Job Category: 
Sunday, October 22, 2023
Job Type: 
Full time
Hours Per Week: 
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To Apply

PBS Western Reserve is being assisted in this search by Livingston Associates.

To apply, please follow this link. As part of your application process, you are asked to also submit a resume, letter of introduction including your vision for the future of public media and how you will be the ideal person to lead PBS Western Reserve in achieving that vision. These documents should be uploaded when you apply.

Date for full consideration: April 18, 2021

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

PBS Western Reserve offers a competitive salary plus a comprehensive benefits package for employees including healthcare, retirement, paid time off, dental, vision, health/wellness reimbursements, and other supplemental benefits.

It is the policy of PBS Western Reserve to provide equal employment opportunity for all persons and not to discriminate in employment because of race, religion, gender, age, marital status, veteran status, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.

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(410) 243-1974
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