Assistant Director, Broadcast Operations (14742)



Summary/Objective

The Assistant Director, Broadcast Operations supervises Traffic Operations and the Audio Engineering discipline at WAMU. They ensure continuity in programming on WAMU 24/7/365 – from initial recording, post-production and live on-air support; to program scheduling and allocation of technical/traffic staff; to final broadcast or digital distribution. They are the champion of maintaining high production quality throughout the WAMU broadcast operation in both recorded and live settings and ensures coverage of all audio production needs at the station. This is a hands-on management role responsible for leading others, reliable and accurate daily creation of the station log, and oversight of activities required to execute the log on-air. This position is ultimately responsible for the tools, people, and workflow necessary to support strong continuity and smooth operation in log preparation, audio production, and seamless integration of local and network-originated programming across WAMU.

The Assistant Director, Broadcast Operations reports directly to the Senior Director, Technology Operations. The Traffic Manager and Audio Engineers / Broadcast Technicians report to this position. Collectively this team supports the logistics of executing the minute-by-minute broadcast day of WAMU – 24/7/365. This position is the leader of the Audio Engineering discipline at WAMU and will lead their team in the creation and enforcement of standards for audio production practices and effective workflow. This position is expected to assess present processes, make recommendations, and implement change in consultation with coworkers within the Technology department.

This position is minimally supervised and is expected to work independently to lead the day-to-day operations of audio production, traffic log creation, and studio/personnel scheduling collaboratively across the broader Technology department, interfacing directly with other personnel within WAMU and externally, as required. This position supervises six people as part of a larger department of about 20 people across all technology disciplines. The traffic function of this role is critical to the execution and subsequent billing of underwriting on the station, which in FY2019 accounts for about $15 million of WAMU’s revenue. This position is at the crossroads of all broadcast operational functions at WAMU and coordinates efforts across departmental lines, as needed, to ensure that correct content is broadcast 24/7/365.

Essential Functions

1. Traffic Log Scheduling, Reconciliation, and Oversight: In collaboration with the Traffic Manager, ensures that a daily station log is produced for every day of the year. At times, this will require hands-on preparation of the log if the Traffic Manager requires additional help, particularly during peak periods prior to holidays, extended weekends, etc. Will ensure that all local and syndicated programming and on-air elements are appropriately scheduled and reconciled on a timely basis, including IDs, Emergency Alert System Tests, promotional and underwriting announcements, etc.

2. Personnel Management: Handles the scheduling, performance management, goal-setting, logistical coordination, and human resources needs of the Audio Engineers and the Traffic Manager. As of May 2021, this is a group of five six people.

3. Copywriting / Copy Approval: Owns the entire lifecycle of underwriting announcements from initial scheduling to final reconciliation: Ensures that on-air copy (including but not limited to corporate underwriting announcements, as well as program and station event promotional copy) are appropriate for broadcast and conform to FCC requirements and internal guidelines. Works with program director to approve or recommend modifications to scripts as needed. Ensures the effective flow of approved scripts to the underwriting voiceover talent for production and maintains processes to ensure that recorded underwriting is completed properly and broadcast according to the station log.

4. Resource Management: Assumes a lead role in ensuring that requests for studio time, use of audio contribution links (codecs) are handled in a timely and effective manner. Is also the primary person responsible for scheduling programming on satellite receivers and coordinates with other members of the technology team when assistance is required.

Essential Functions (continued)

5. Workflow Management: Continually monitors the production processes across the station to ensure that appropriate workflows are maintained and leads their creation or improvement when necessary. This includes managing the processes for production / scheduling of promotional announcements (promos), production of special programming, support for recurring recording sessions, and coordination with the Program Director when programming changes are required. Takes a lead role in collaborating with the Membership and Programming teams to support station on-air fundraisers and ensures appropriate personnel are allocated accordingly.

6. Impairment Tracking / Driving Operational Improvement: Monitors discrepancy reports and compiles (or delegates the creation of) monthly reports that track on-air anomalies. Works to identify trends and create awareness of causes of failure. Notifies appropriate members of the technology department to investigate further as warranted. A primary example is monitoring performance of use of the station’s automation system, presently Wide Orbit Automation for Radio, to ensure it is meeting the needs of users and not impeding station workflow. Collaborates across the station as necessary to identify workflow impairments or technical gaps and leads the creation of solutions. Coordinates with Assistant Director of Broadcast Engineering to schedule time for Audio Technicians to perform basic studio maintenance throughout the facility.

7. Other Duties as Assigned

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
  • Full time
  • Project Leader/Advisor B
  • Exempt
  • This position is considered essential personnel at WAMU.


Required Education and Experience
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent (In a related field preferred; demonstrated success in similar positions that establishes the necessary skills and abilities required for the job)
  • 4-6 years of relevant experience


Additional Eligibility Qualifications
  • A minimum of four years of broadcast traffic experience; additional experience in audio production preferred.
  • Must have working knowledge of workflows of a modern radio broadcast operation and an ability to innovate and lead others in their effective implementation.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across an organization and represent the station appropriately to external clients and listeners, when needed.
  • Must be able to work effectively with both technical and non-technical staff. Will be occasionally be required to develop training programs for non-technical staff and ensure effective implementation of systems through training and continual process refinement.
  • This is a hands-on role that requires the ability to differentiate colors, hear sound and distinguish audio quality, type on a QWERTY keyboard or touch screen, effectively communicate with others using both written and spoken word.
  • This person must have reliable means for getting to WAMU regardless of weather conditions.
  • This position is frequently “on call” outside of business hours and will require an ability to respond remotely to changing programming needs and occasionally respond in person off-hours if the situation warrants.
  • Familiarity with broadcast traffic and radio automation systems such as Wide Orbit, National Public Radio, its satellite system, and public broadcasting in general, is a plus.
  • Hiring offers contingent upon successful completion of a background check


Benefits
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Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

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