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Chief Content Officer, WAMU (16717)

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail.

Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work.

Learn more about American University by clicking here .

About the Department/Unit

WAMU 88.5 is the leading public radio station in the greater Washington, D.C. area, and DCist is our digital outlet for local news. We provide in-depth and enterprise reporting alongside essential daily news and information that aims to reflect and serve the diverse communities of our region. We believe in news as a public service and put our current and future audience at the center of our work.


The Chief Content Officer provides strategic and tactical leadership for the newsgathering and local programming teams within WAMU, which are responsible for delivering content across the organization’s broadcast and digital platforms, in addition to our live journalism and community engagement events. The Chief Content Officer will create and oversee a process for developing and producing new, original content – including broadcast and on-demand programming – that serves the needs and desires of audiences across platforms. This position serves as the public face of WAMU’s content division and maintains strong collaborative relationships with other organizations, including NPR, local news, and community organizations as well as other public and commercial media organizations in DC, Maryland, Virginia and beyond.
The Chief Content Officer reports directly to the General Manager of WAMU. This position supervises, directly or indirectly, a team of more than 50 professionals responsible for producing and delivering local and national journalism content.

Essential Functions
  1. Operational Excellence:Continually assesses talent, programs, and processes to ensure consistent operations across all content areas and instill a culture of best practices in journalism, news and live events. Ensure coherent coverage of issues across both content and digital platforms that aligns with the organization’s mission and vision. Work collaboratively with peers to strategically address content that is underperforming from audience and engagement perspectives. Create and oversee robust local and national content development strategies. Enhance relevance and reach to, and for, diverse audiences. Perform and promote regular sound-checking, editorial reviews, workflow assessments, and quality control for reporters, anchors and hosts.
  2. Organizational Leadership:Develop and manage a collaborative team of content producers, reporters, editors and hosts. Hire, onboard, train, manage and develop staff, relying on your robust network of connections and relationships in the local and national media markets; coach and evaluate performance.
  3. Setting Vision and Strategic Direction:In active collaboration with executive team, establish the strategic direction for content and overall sound and personality of WAMU and its affiliated brands, including DCist. Lead contributor driving transformational change into a multi-platform media organization. Translate and communicate vision into strategies internally and externally. Lead content team to achieve strategic goals.
  4. External Representation and Partnerships:Serve as an external face and/or marketer of WAMU content and mission to maximize its partnership and distribution opportunities, as well as visibility, and impact. Collaborate with local and national news organizations and content creators inside and outside of public media. Develop and maintain institutional connections to other major news organizations.
  5. Collaboration on Revenue Generation:Collaborate with revenue departments to inform and raise resources to fund content.
  6. Develop and oversee an approved overall budget for content area of organization.
  7. Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibility
  • This position supervises, directly or indirectly, a team of 50 professionals.
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
  • Full Time, 35 hours/week.
  • Divison Leader C.
  • Exempt.
Required Education and Experience
  • Master's degree or equivalent in journalism, mass communication, or other relevant degree.
  • Minimum of 12-15 years of increasing responsibility in creating content that reflects the values of public radio audiences with at least 7 years’ experience in a managerial role or the equivalent in education, training and experience.
Preferred Education and Experience
  • Master's degree or equivalent.
  • 15+ years of relevant experience.
  • Experience in public or commercial radio, television or other mass media.
  • Experience in recruiting, coaching and retaining a diverse staff that reflects the community.
  • An understanding of the values, sensibility and best practices in public radio.
  • Experience integrating teams and practices across platforms.
Additional Eligibility Qualifications
  • Enthusiasm for the station and the region.
  • Experience creating journalism content that serves and attracts audiences.
  • Experience setting and operationalizing editorial strategy for large-scale projects/initiatives.
  • Understanding and experience of digital publishing and distribution platforms, including awareness of emerging trends and industry-wide best practices.
  • Demonstrated experience managing change and complex projects.
  • Experience managing relationships with a range of local and national content producers and distributors to meet local programming needs.
  • A strong track record of applying audience insights from analytics and benchmarks to inform content decisions on air and online.
  • An ability to build strong working relationships at various levels within a diverse community and proven success at motivating teams.
  • Strong background in and knowledge of current best practices in media and journalism.
  • Budget management experience.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.

AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite.Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options .

Other Details
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • Employees in staff positions at American University must deliver their services to the university from either the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, or perform work on-site at the university.
  • Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Current American University Employees

If you are a current employee at American University, please log intoAsuccessfulU through themyAU portal . Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page.

Contact Us

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email .

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC

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