Job Description:

Host/Executive Producer The 21st
Illinois Public Media
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Illinois Public Media seeks a Host/Executive Producer for The 21st at WILL AM-FM-TV public broadcasting stations licensed to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Host/Executive Producer hosts the statewide radio talk show, The 21st, other programs, and special news events both live and recorded for WILL AM-FM-TV-online, the public broadcasting service of the University of Illinois. Sets the priorities and leads the production team in conceptualizing, researching and producing these programs to best serve the Illinois Public Media (IPM) community. As an effective journalist, the Host/Executive Producer helps build on The 21st's success to maintain and grow the program.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Manages The 21st Production Team and participates in the production of broadcast programs for Illinois Public Media:

  • Sets and leads the priorities, vision, and objectives of The 21st.
  • Provides leadership, direction, and overall administration of The 21st team of senior producer, producers, interns, students, and fellows.
  • Develops operational policies, procedures, and priorities regarding multi-station and multi-platform program.
  • Leads strategic planning for the show and provides input to the strategies and priorities of the station.
  • Researches, follows and implements innovation in industry trends, future of journalism, educational opportunities, audience and staff development, and other relevant areas.
  • Works with leadership within IPM and partner stations on production and distribution of The 21st and other news / programming specials.
  • Participates in program planning meetings, suggesting ideas for The 21st and other programs, program guests, creative use of sound and other elements.
  • Helps develop programs and initiatives that inform, increase understanding, add context and offer surprises.
  • Works with The 21st team for social media callouts, structure well-paced shows and develop question lines.
  • Helps identify voices and views that we don't tend to hear on public broadcasting and develops specific topics of coverage, series and signature segments.
  • Follows local, regional and national news closely.
  • Suggests opportunities to build connection with audience on social media and in-person events.
  • Develops significant digital / multi-platform presence.
  • Serves as a public representative of IPM.
  • Records promotional material for IPM.
  • Responds to personal inquiries from listeners to the extent possible.
  • Interacts with online audience.
  • Makes personal appearances, representing IPM at public events, as requested.

Hosts The 21st and other programs, segments, special coverage, and events for Illinois Public Media:

  • Leads thoughtful conversations on topics that are timely, relevant and affect the lives of our audience.
  • Helps identify the "big idea" or shared experience underlying news stories to develop surprising local angles and conversations.
  • Provides context and depth to help audience members to be better informed about the issues and ideas affection their lives.
  • Includes audiences in ways that add value, inform and/or offer insight into a unique or shared experience.
  • Creates a safe on-air and/or community space for guests and audience members to share surprising, compelling and sometimes uncomfortable experiences.
  • Connects with the audience through empathy, vulnerability and a mutual sense of trust.
  • Reacts quickly to changing topics, breaking news, unexpected discussion areas and technical problems.
  • Hosts news segments, specials and live events on radio and TV and in the community.
  • Expands audience's world view, by exposing them to topics and ideas they wouldn't normally seek out on their own.
  • Welcomes diverse and multicultural views and ideas from people with wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences.
  • Conducts live and taped interviews.
  • Delivers seamless live, non-scripted material without warning.
  • Writes program billboards and introductory copy.
  • Participates in on-air fundraising.

Position Requirements and Qualifications:


Bachelor degree required.

Education Preferred:

Bachelor's degree, with preference to those in Journalism and Communications or related field.


At least five years of journalism experience. Experience maintaining high journalistic ethics and standards under deadline pressure, including standards of objectivity, balance and fairness. Experience building a personality presence in social media. Experience producing on digital audio workstations.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Fluent in digital audio editing software. Experience producing on digital audio workstations. Proven ability to write in a clear, concise manner. Well-developed curiosity in a wide range of subjects and a broad range of general news knowledge. Engaging, energetic and conversational on-air presence. Deep knowledge of news and excellent news judgment. Ability to take complex, detailed information and summarize it into a condensed, easy to understand form. Knows how to make regional and national topics local and vice versa. Ability to lead a daily talk program that reflects the interests of a diverse audience. Ability to handle rapidly moving and breaking news stories. Knowledge of online journalism practices. Ability to work well with production team and take coaching. Demonstrated ability to discuss local, regional and national issues on air in a clear, balanced and intelligent manner. Well-developed on-air personality and a strong ability to conduct thoughtful interviews with people who have diverse and opposing opinions, comments and views. Proven ability to consistently work well with others, demonstrating at all times respect for the diverse constituencies at IPM and within the public radio system. Familiarity of digital audio editing software.

Application Procedures:

To ensure full consideration, complete applications must be submitted by July 24, 2019. Interviews may be conducted before the closing date, although no hiring decisions will be made until after the search has closed. Please create your candidate profile at and upload a cover letter describing qualifications for the position, current resume and the names and contact information for three professional references. For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact Annetta Allison (217) 265-7648 or

This is a full-time, 12-month academic professional appointment with a start date as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or criminal conviction history. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (

Job Location: 
Urbana, IL
United States
Job Category: 
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Job Type: 
Full time
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