Lehigh Valley Community Broadcasters Association is seeking an experienced leader (public media, non-profit or community leader) to serve as Executive Director of its radio station, WDIY-FM. The station, from its studios in South Bethlehem, serves the two-county Lehigh Valley area (population 660,000) with additional coverage of surrounding regions in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. WDIY is the Lehigh Valley’s only NPR Member Station.
The Lehigh Valley Community Broadcasters Association Inc. was founded in 1984, and is the community licensee of WDIY, Lehigh Valley Public Radio. The mission of WDIY as a public radio station is to engage the Lehigh Valley community through a wide-ranging exchange of music, arts, news, and culturally diverse information. The LVCBA is led by a volunteer Board of Directors that is committed to the idea of “community public radio,” a combination of national content from NPR interspersed with a roughly equal amount of WDIY community volunteer produced programming combined into a single integrated broadcast schedule. WDIY is the sole NPR Member Station located in the Lehigh Valley.
The local programming, mainly a diverse range of music and public affairs, emphasizes local content and the station focuses on the diversity of its programming and the real voices of its community hosts to differentiate the station from other public or commercial radio stations. WDIY provides professional broadcasting training and access to the airwaves for the Lehigh Valley community, including college-level interns, and operates a Youth Media program involving and providing training in communication and radio skills to high school students.
WDIY-FM has been broadcasting since it went on the air in January 1995 from studios in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, serving the Lehigh Valley area of eastern Pennsylvania and parts of western New Jersey. WDIY broadcasts on a main signal of 88.1, with additional translators at 93.9 and 93.7 covering the eastern and western ends of the broadcast service area. The station also streams on the web (www.wdiy.org). WDIY tripled its 88.1 broadcast power in December 2015, which expanded our served population by about 20% to 800,000, as well as providing more stable reception in the core of the Lehigh Valley.
WDIY is staffed by a professional staff of six - an Executive Director, Operations Director, Membership & Development Manager, Underwriting Sales Manager, Community Relations Manager and Office & Finance Manager. Around 80 trained volunteers provide local on-air hosting of NPR news programs, locally-produced music programming and public affairs programs. In addition to the on-air hosts, approximately 40 other volunteers provide administrative support.
Daytime / weekday programming focuses on the major NPR news programs plus Fresh Air, classical and AAA; evening and weekend programs include folk, jazz, blues and alternative during the week, with specialty shows (e.g., roots, blues, swing, world, and ethnic) on weekends. Station-produced cultural and public affairs programs occupy three early evening weekday slots of one hour, with the TED Radio Hour and On The Media in the other two. Listenership and membership have been showing very healthy growth over the last ten years; membership has increased by over 80%, and membership revenue by 110%. WDIY’s Marketing Committee very recently launched a fresh branding campaign, aimed at freshening up our image and raising awareness of us as the locally-based NPR station, branding our wide-ranging content and the deep community roots of the real local voices hosting our programming.
WDIY maintains an extensive array of very active partnerships with the majority of cultural, educational and environmental organizations and festivals in the region. The station has a cash operational budget of approximately $650,000, supplemented by another $250,000 in trade partnerships. The most recent LVCBA Audit Report and Form 990 Tax Return can be viewed on the WDIY website.
The “Lehigh Valley” is a term used to describe the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton metropolitan area, in Northampton and Lehigh Counties in eastern Pennsylvania. With a population of approximately 700,000, the Lehigh Valley is the third largest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania. The center of the Valley in Bethlehem is 55 miles north of center city Philadelphia, and 70 miles west of midtown Manhattan. The Pocono Mountain region of northeastern Pennsylvania is north of the Lehigh Valley; the Pennsylvania Dutch tourism region lies west. The area features a mix of rural countryside and modern amenities, including a high quality cultural environment and numerous nationally known institutions of higher education (four universities, four colleges, and two community colleges). The area is particularly rich culturally in the performing arts, and supports three major outdoor music festivals each year, plus the Allentown Symphony Orchestra and the Bach Choir, and the recently opened ArtsQuest SteelStacks cultural campus on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Works. Events taking place can be viewed on our webpage at www.publicbroadcasting.net/wdiy/events.eventsmain
WDIY Stakeholders, including our board, staff (both paid and volunteer) and community partners have developed a list of the qualities we seek in our next leader. We will consider and select from candidates who most clearly demonstrate the following:
Leadership: We seek an externally focused, experienced and mission-driven individual, with a mature set of leadership and management abilities, who will help maintain and grow the internal culture of WDIY, while respecting the community radio and volunteer-driven heritage of the station, help us keep improving in effectiveness in serving the people of our region, and at the same time keep us financially sound, who also:
- Has a warm open style, but is also an effective change agent;
- Puts the mission and success of WDIY first;
- Has solid business skills and a record of effective business management;
- Provides direction and accountability for organizational and staff results, including clearly communicating strategy, goals and expectations;
- Has great people skills, including being able to flex style – comfortable and effective at dealing with a wide range of stakeholders – from our smallest donors and volunteers to regional community leaders;
- Is trustworthy and fair, and leads with transparency and clear integrity;
- Is politically savvy and diplomatic.
Strategic Focus: Powerful understanding of and use of strategy in organizational life:
- Knowledgeable of (or able to quickly learn) dynamics affecting current and future environment of WDIY, including the impact of these dynamics on operations;
- Highly developed skill at prioritizing, and accomplished at sequencing change;
- Is data driven: networks with and benchmarks other organizations to increase WDIY’s effectiveness;
- Able to continuously develop, execute and evaluate strategic plans, in concert with other stakeholders, and to champion strategic perspectives.
Fundraising: Excited about generating financial resources for WDIY. Effective fundraiser with demonstrated track record, knowledgeable of and expert at the Executive Director role in fundraising and resource development, who is:
- Comfortable with asking for money for WDIY;
- Strong as mission spokesperson and in relationship management aspects of fundraising (both individual and institutional);
- Has a comprehensive understanding of fundraising strategies and methods in public media (membership, underwriting, grants, and major and planned giving) and beyond;
- Able to develop WDIY organizational (Staff and Board) fundraising capacity, and effective at moving us beyond our reliance on transactional membership-based revenues into philanthropic fundraising, including identifying and dealing with any internal cultural and operational blocks to success with major donor and planned giving efforts.
Community Relationships/Relationship Development/Public Presence: An externally focused mission spokesperson, who comfortably evangelizes for WDIY out in the community, and who quickly becomes recognized as a leader in the region. We aspire to the model common for community-based non-profits, in which the leader spends approximately half their time in outward-facing community work. The leader we seek will:
- Significantly grow WDIY’s presence in the Lehigh Valley, have personal qualities the community can connect with, and over a short period of time will become an active participant and recognized leader in our region;
- Have a high-level of energy for the travel involved in visiting/connecting the region, as well as authentic enthusiasm for the whole area in its geographic and demographic diversity;
- Highly developed emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, and 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;
- Demonstrates a record of community engagement and collaboration, and of developing partnerships with individuals and organizations.
Passion: A highly energetic person who is inspired by the direction and public service mission of WDIY and:
- Has authentic enthusiasm for and commitment to the heritage and future of WDIY, public media (and community radio)’s potential and future, including as a source for local content, and for developing and deploying new and innovative service delivery mechanisms;
- Communicates passion in a way that engages others and generates action by staff, the Board and the community, including potential funders.
Financial Acumen: A full set of business skills including proven expertise in being able to manage WDIY in the financial area:
- Aware of and able to provide leadership in budgeting and financial reporting;
- Proven ability to develop and manage to a budget;
- Ability to analyze and project the short and longer term financial situation of WDIY, and to make adjustments as called for.
Industry Knowledge (radio, internet, etc): Knowledge of and experience with media, trends in technology and consumption of media, including:
- A high-level of understanding of dynamics, issues and trends in public radio (including the need to continue to develop WDIY into an essential local institution), and ability to lead WDIY in this area;
- Understanding/experience with issues related to non-profit organizations;
- Able to manage our physical plant (studios and transmitter site), including managing the strategic and financial challenge of maintaining its effectiveness;
- If coming from outside public radio, deep commitment to and knowledge of public radio (listener, supporter); and
- Is technologically competent, comfortable with/aware of digital and social media, able to keep us abreast and current with all different platforms.
- Knowledgeable enough to be an effective interface between radio engineers and IT specialists and non-technical staff and board members;
- Knowledgeable or demonstrated quick learner of compliance issues with agencies such as the FCC, CPB, NPR and requirements for non-profit organizations.
Problem solving and decision making: Expert decision-maker, who:
- Has the ability to prioritize and determine significance of a particular issue, understands who to include in the problem-solving process, and knows what and how much information is needed;
- Is able to effectively analyze and use data in the decision-making process, and will make decisions in a timely matter;
- Is good at follow-through - clearly communicates decision, designs and administers effective execution, with appropriate pre-determined success measures and time-posts; and
- Has level of personal strength to stick by decisions and/or know when a change of direction is needed.
Communication: Highly developed public and private interpersonal and communication skills, with an open, engaging style, including:
- Comfort with and command of the range of communication channels, including speaking, writing and social media;
- Being a skillful listener;
- Is inspiring and respectful, connecting in a real way with people across a broad spectrum of backgrounds;
- Is an effective spokesperson for the organization.
Management: Experienced, confident, results oriented team builder and manager of people with an open-door style. He or she will need to demonstrate strong internal relationship skills and experience with supervising a staff, working with (and enthusiastic about) volunteers and with a board, including:
- Having the combination of personal characteristics such as comfort with self, warmth and strength necessary to continue to grow the alignment, effectiveness and enthusiasm of WDIY, from the paid and volunteer staff to the Board;
- Is an effective mentor, who helps everyone around him or herself grow;
- Though engaged, is not a micromanager;
- Addresses conflict in a diplomatic but firm manner, and is persistent in addressing conflict where it exists, including hidden conflict;
- Holding him or herself to a high level of accountability and holding everyone in the organization to that same level of accountability;
- Being experienced with and effective at working with boards – able to work collaboratively with the WDIY Board of Directors in order to continue to grow the effectiveness of the board including recruiting and retaining outside board members, and growing the engagement of the current board members; and
- Displaying a record of effectiveness with managing and developing diversity in staff and the board.
LVCBA Board of Directors with direct supervision by the Board’s Chairperson
- Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Broadcast, or Business Administration or an equivalent combination of education and related experience.
- Minimum of three years of executive experience in public/community broadcasting.
- Strong financial skills, with a proven record in building revenues.
- Successful background in leading staff and directing volunteer activities.
- Ability to develop strategic partnerships with other organizations.
- Experienced in applying the latest communication technologies in a multi-platform broadcast environment.
- Effective oral and written communication skills, as well as strong interpersonal skills.
- Thorough knowledge of FCC public broadcasting regulations.
- Fulfill the station’s mission to “engage the Lehigh Valley community through a wide-ranging exchange of music, arts, news and culturally diverse information.”
- Provide effective leadership to staff in planning and managing activities in the following areas: fund-raising (membership, underwriting, grants, events, and bequests), programming, operations, community outreach, and volunteer coordination.
- Develops the station’s strategic directions in concert with the Board of Directors.
- Develop and administer annual budgets with the support of staff, board committees, and an outside accounting firm, including submission of CPB reports, Tax forms and annual audit materials.
- Increase station revenues and control expenses.
- Set the direction of on-air fund-raising campaigns (three annually).
- Oversee and facilitate underwriting sales.
- Improve programming, grow listenership, and increase station membership.
- Create and implement strategies to attract listeners and improve visibility in new broadcast areas.
- Develop staff through mentorship, training, and ongoing evaluation.
- Oversee the recruitment and ongoing training of volunteers.
- Administer board policies and implement board-approved capital improvements.
- Develop, foster, and strengthen strategic partnerships with other community arts and civic organizations.
- Serve as the “face of the station” in representing WDIY in the local community.
- Provide timely financial and operational reports to the Board of Directors.
- Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations impacting the station.
- As leader of a small staff, provide back up to staff, and also on-air presence occasionally on an as-needed basis.
WDIY is an EEO/AA employer.