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President and CEO

Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Feb 24, 2023

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Position Type
Public Broadcasting
Employment Type
Full Time

President and CEO

The Organization

WQED changes lives by creating and sharing outstanding public media that educates, entertains, and inspires. 

WQED began in 1954 as an experiment – the nation’s first community-sponsored educational television station. The dream was to provide the community with educational instruction, fine arts, and local programming to elevate public discourse and to stimulate ideas free from commercial influence.

In the early years, WQED was home to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which transformed what television could be for children and families. Initially titled The Children’s Corner, the program began as a local and live television visit with children and Fred Rogers behind the scenes as a puppeteer. It went on to air nationally on what was to become PBS.

WQED became a pioneer in children’s television, classroom television instruction, live play readings and concerts. WQED provided teacher training certification and built initiatives around the best use of educational media. The 1960s led to the creation of PBS and the member station model and WQED began production of national television documentaries like The National Geographic specials and Wonderworks.

WQED-FM went on the air in 1973 as the region’s only full-time classical music station, providing classical music and other fine arts programming to entertain, inform and enrich the community. As the “Voice of the Arts” in the region, WQED-FM is critical to local artists, ensembles and organizations for assistance, support, and publicity. The station produces and distributes Pittsburgh Symphony Radio series to public radio stations across the country. In 1997, WQED-FM expanded its reach into the Johnstown market with WQEJ-FM.

Today, WQED is educational public media with five television programming streams: WQED-TV; WQED Create; WQED WORLD; WQED Showcase; and WQED PBS Kids Channel. Three radio streams include: WQED-FM 89.3; WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; The Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-FM HD-2 and online. Collectively WQED provides content for free to all residents in the viewing and listening area, and online around the world; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive, and a nationally recognized educational initiative.

WQED has a proud history of honors, including 166 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards (with seven Overall Excellence awards, the most by any station), an Academy Award, and many others.

Throughout its history, WQED has partnered with hundreds of local community organizations toward improvements in education; arts and culture; community health; economics; and important local issues through its unique form of community engagement. These partnerships are a hallmark of WQED’s mission and are an important part of its daily activities. As the only community-owned multi-platform public media in the region, WQED is a convener, a central gathering place, and a conduit for other local non-profit organizations.

As WQED moves into the future, it is shifting its focus to innovation that will usher in a new era of enhanced service that meets the changing needs of the broad Pittsburgh and greater regional community.

Equal Opportunity Employer
WQED is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Candidates will receive consideration for employment regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance.

The Opportunity
President and CEO
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Reporting Relationship: Board of Directors

Purpose of the Position
As the lead executive of the organization, the President and CEO inspires and motivates internal and external stakeholders, leads with clarity and purpose, expands the organization’s impact and supporters, engenders an inclusive and engaged culture, and demonstrates a strong commitment to the powerful mission.

The President and CEO is responsible for day-to-day executive leadership and management of WQED including: the strategic vision and operations of the organization and its entities; extending the organization’s mission within the community; developing and managing the financial interests of the enterprise; and serving as the internal and external “face” of the organization. S/he/they will have ultimate responsibility for providing dynamic and imaginative leadership and will have full accountability for developing relationships with the Board of Directors, staff, partners and supporting organizations, members, and the broad community; actively engaging all stakeholders to achieve the organization’s core mission; and positioning the organization for growth and success in a rapidly changing environment.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide the long-range vision and planning leadership necessary to achieve the philosophy, mission, and future objectives of the organization. Define innovative and measurable goals that envision a new era for WQED; position the organization for financial strength; grow the various WQED entities; enhance member and community services and programs; craft content that captures the interest and passion of the next generation of audiences on multiple platforms; and advance the organization’s educational mission with the industry, community, and audiences broadly.
  • Establish a productive working relationship with the Board, its committees, and task forces; serve as interface between the Board and the staff; galvanize and take guidance from a Board that contributes significant institutional knowledge and expertise to the organization.
  • Enable the success of fundraising and friend-raising activities with individual donors, corporations, foundations, government entities, partners and other Ideate and implement new appropriate revenue generating opportunities. Work closely with Board, staff, and volunteers in expanding the organization’s supporter base and engaging community partners.
  • Anticipate and address challenges WQED faces in a shifting landscape, including digital/streaming content, diversity and inclusion and changing membership, viewership, and community Be responsive to and leverage technology to reach broader audiences and participants, and to involve supporters on multiple platforms.
  • Preserve and advance WQED’s legacy of highly regarded, quality content and community programs that educate, entertain, and inspire while expanding content and relationships into newer and more diverse parts of the community.
  • Represent WQED to its many constituents; build and maintain strategic partnerships and positive relationships with individuals, foundations, businesses, the broad Pittsburgh community, education and arts organizations, government officials, the national Public Broadcasting Services organization, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and other relevant entities.
  • Raise awareness and understanding of the organization’s value in the community with effective and timely outreach, marketing, and communications; leverage the WQED brand, identity, and history to the maximum benefit of the organization as it continues to evolve.
  • Serve as a trusted and important leader on regional issues related to public broadcasting, education, and the arts in the community; expand the national profile of the organization as appropriate.
  • Manage a highly experienced and qualified senior team with broad functional responsibilities; nurture a positive and caring culture; recruit and develop the team to be the next generation of WQED leaders; preserve an environment where employees feel valued and that encourages optimal individual performance in a collaborative fashion.
  • Make timely and appropriate decisions based on sound business principles; ensure that WQED is managed with strong financial accountability and integrity, and that the organization operates at the highest level of effectiveness; maintain a transparent and highly visible management approach; ensure that diversity is valued and practiced in the organization.
  • Achieve goals and objectives within the context of a non-profit structure; effectively interact with a variety of stakeholders to build consensus, create synergy and trust, and move the organization forward.

Year one critical success factors
At the end of one year, the successful candidate will have:

  • Successfully transitioned into the role in a manner that serves the best interests of
  • Cultivated strong relationships with, and earned the respect and confidence of, external and internal stakeholders, including the Board of Directors, staff, members / audiences, a variety of partners and supporters, the broad Pittsburgh and regional community, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and other affiliates.
  • Articulated a vision and began a process to lay out both short- and long-term strategies that position the organization for success in a rapidly changing environment.
  • Initiated the development of a plan to reach a diversified audience on multiple platforms, as well as increased general community participation and support.

The Candidate
Experience and Professional Qualifications
The ideal candidate should bring a mix of the following experience, qualities, and established track record:

  • Demonstrated effective leadership and success in managing a fiscally sound, growing, multi-dimensional organization of comparable size and complexity; significant tenure in a senior management position with decision-making responsibility.
  • A record of accomplishments and leading organizations through change based on excellent strategic thinking skills and the ability to conceptualize and create initiatives that advance innovative organizational
  • A strong dedication to and proven success in fundraising and new revenue
  • Insight into the impact technology is having on content and program creation, distribution, reach and audiences - and how that impacts WQED’s opportunities and challenges - as well as experience in leveraging new technologies for digital transformation.
  • A demonstrated understanding of the economics and creative elements in producing content for expanded and increasingly diverse viewership on multiple / digital platforms.
  • Proven record of facilitating collaboration and cooperation with external organizations and the
  • A history of empowering and fostering a positive culture; accomplishments with recruiting and development of employees, team building, motivation of staff, and holding teams accountable to goals.
  • Experience working with a diverse Board of Directors, maintaining strong working relationships with its members, and the ability to develop, recruit and leverage an effective Board.
  • First-hand experience in public broadcasting and/or related content fields, or in education or the arts is strongly preferred.

Skills and Competencies
The President and CEO demonstrates:

  • A passion for WQED’s mission and dedication to the best interest of the organization, its members/ supporters, education and arts, the community, and public broadcasting in general.
  • A “big picture” mind capable of deep strategic thinking and long-range planning in an environment of rapid change and growth, blended with strong hands-on operational skills and financial savvy.
  • Ability to communicate a compelling vision; makes the vision shareable by everyone; can inspire and motivate teams and stakeholders to implement that vision.
  • A high level of humble confidence combined with an entrepreneurial yet collaborative, accessible management style that engenders trust, empathy, credibility, values transparency, and
  • Skills as an effective public speaker who is able to communicate the mission of the organization in many different venues and to diverse constituencies, and who can serve as the face of the organization with clarity and eloquence; the ability to calibrate speaking and listening styles for divergent audiences.
  • Demonstrated experience participating in – or leading - diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; attuned to current social environment challenges and how that impacts viewership and the community.
  • A tolerance for ambiguity and change, sound judgment, and a strong results
  • The ability to delegate effectively and hold a team accountable, combined with the willingness to be hands- on as needed.
  • The highest level of personal ethics and professional integrity to engender total confidence in his/her/their moral conduct and judgment.
  • Willingness to put in the hours necessary for accomplishment and to travel as

An undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university is strongly preferred and an advanced degree is a plus. However, all candidates with the professional experiences, values, and skills outlined in this position specification are encouraged to apply.

Nominations and applications can be made to
All submissions will be held in the strictest confidence.

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