Pacifica - Executive Director

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) seeks an Executive Director for our five-station network (KPFA, Berkeley, California, KPFT, Houston Texas, KPFK, Los Angeles, California, WBAI, New York, New York, and WPFW, Washington, DC) as well as the Pacifica National Archives and our growing Affiliate program. 

About Pacifica: Started in 1946 by conscientious objector Lew Hill, Pacifica’s storied history includes impounded program tapes for a 1954 on-air discussion of marijuana, broadcasting the Seymour Hersh revelations of the My Lai massacre, bombings by the Ku Klux Klan, going to jail rather than turning over the Patty Hearst tapes to the FBI, and Supreme Court cases. Those cases include the 1984 decision that noncommercial broadcasters have the constitutional right to editorialize, and the Seven Dirty Words ruling following George Carlin’s incendiary performances on WBAI. 

The Pacifica Foundation operates noncommercial radio stations in five major metropolitan areas, operates the Pacifica Radio Archives with decades of historical audio, and syndicates content to over 300 affiliate stations. It invented listener-sponsored radio.
In consultation with the Pacifica National Board (PNB), Local Station Boards (LSB) and our management and staff, we have created the profile of the ideal next ED for Pacifica. We will select from and consider candidates who most clearly demonstrate the following skills and characteristics:
Industry knowledge: Experience with and knowledgeable of media, especially listener supported radio, journalism and trends in technology and consumption of media, including: 

  • A high level of understanding of dynamics, issues and trends in media, public and community media, journalism and radio, and ability to lead Pacifica in these areas; 
  • Knowledge to be able to provide oversight to maintain the quality of a complex physical plant (studios and transmitter sites for each station), including managing the strategic and financial challenge of maintaining its effectiveness;   
  • Technologically competent, comfortable with/aware of digital and social media, able to keep us abreast and current with all different platforms. 
Communication: Highly developed public and one on one interpersonal and communication skills, with an open, engaging style, including:  

  • Is inspiring and respectful, connecting in a real way with people;  
  • Comfort with and command of the range of communication channels, including speaking, writing and social media; 
  • Being a skillful listener; 
  • Able to flex style depending on stakeholder group and situation;
  • Is an effective spokesperson for Pacifica. 
Leadership: We seek a Strategic, focused, experienced and mission-driven individual, with a mature set of leadership abilities, who will help grow and maintain a positive, aligned culture within Pacifica, keep the organization improving in effectiveness in serving the people in our communities (the physical communities served by our transmitters and beyond) and at the same time help us become and remain financially sound in this turbulent economic time, who also:  

  • Has an open style, but is also an effective decision-maker and change agent; 
  • Shows up – in our organizations and communities, and with the PNB and LSBs;  
  • Puts the mission and success of Pacifica first; 
  • Is a fair, powerful team leader and builder, to help Pacifica gain alignment while encouraging varying perspectives, and to help make the organization highly effective at serving its mission; 
  • Is politically savvy and diplomatic;
  • 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 communities to statewide legislative, business and community leaders; 
  • Is committed to and comfortable with diversity, both within the institution and in the communities we serve.
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 makes 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
  • Demonstrates strength with process mapping and developing effective processes.
Financial Acumen: Experienced, competent financial manager with the ability to provide overall direction to Pacifica including in the financial area, comfort with dealing with money, as well as providing partnering (in the case of the CFO), mentoring and supervision in the area of financial management to the National Office (including our finance team at the NO), the leadership of our five stations, the Pacifica Radio Archives and the Affiliates program. Critical financial skills include:

  • Experience: Advanced business knowledge, including ability to deal with a complex, difficult financial environment, with managing multiple financial issues and priorities at the same time. Aware of and capable with developing and managing budgets, cash flow, income generation and facilities;
  • Judgment: Proven ability to make meaning out of complex and ambiguous business situations. Ability to provide context for decisions based on outcomes of past actions. High level of self-awareness in making decisions;
  • Troubleshooting: The ability to analyze the business performance of and provide guidance to the Pacifica National Office, the stations, the PRA and the Affiliates program, including providing such performance indicators as needed by the PNB to allow for effective policy oversight for Pacifica. 
Integrity: Our most important asset is the trust our donors and audience have in our programming and in Pacifica as an institution. A key to the recovery and growth of Pacifica will be to create a new shared sense of internal cohesion and shared purpose, with the ED providing clear, transparent leadership and modeling integrity for the entire organization. Our next ED will:  

  • Be an authentic, courageous, ethical person of substance with strong self-awareness; 
  • Have clear, high standards for him or herself and others;  
  • Be honest with him or herself and others; 
  • Understand and practice confidentiality when necessary as well as organizational and financial transparency; 
  • Understand and have commitment to journalistic independence, integrity, and ethics.
Fundraising: Excited about generating financial resources for Pacifica.. Effective fundraiser with demonstrated track record, knowledgeable of and expert at the ED role in fundraising and resource development, including in a listener supported environment, who is:  

  • Comfortable with asking for money for Pacifica; 
  • 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, and major and planned-giving) and beyond;  
  • Able to develop Pacifica organizational fundraising capacity, and effective at helping initiate the process of moving us beyond our reliance on pledge and membership-based revenues into philanthropic fundraising (adding to and displacing while maintaining and growing total results), including identifying and dealing with any internal cultural and operational blocks to success with expanding and diversifying our income streams.
Conflict Management: Comfort with and skilled at managing conflict, both limiting negative and encouraging healthy conflict. 
  • Experience: Demonstrated success working in and managing an active, sometimes stressful environment. 
  • Knowledgeable and intentional about the practice of conflict management;
  • Welcomes input, able to process and respond constructively to input including challenges while maintaining composure, able to flex or hold ground as situation requires.
Vision: In the context of the challenges facing Pacifica, as well as changes the Internet is having on availability and use of media, display ability to project our needs out into the long-term future; see and understand future trends in media, in related fields and the world, and the impact on Pacifica’s operations and:  

  • Be a big picture person; 
  • Have a learning orientation, including demonstrated methods for gathering, assimilating and making meaning out of information about the changing media, technology and demographic landscape; 
  • Balance vision with doing. 
  • Able to enroll others in working together to execute vision.
Management: An organized, results-oriented manager with strong relational skills and experience leading a team as well as managing change. Someone who:

  • Is committed and effective leading a staff, including supervising, developing and mentoring. 
  • Has the mindset of an effective manager, including attention to detail;
  • Is able to multi-task effectively across a broad range of areas, quickly shifting gears and prioritizing tasks across diverse areas and practices.
  • Is committed to and has a record of effectively managing and developing diversity in staff and board.
Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent;
  • 10 years’ experience in progressive, listener supported media or related field;
  • Five years supervisory experience.
Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Pacifica is committed to fostering a diverse workplace.

Applications will be accepted until September 29th, or until the position is filled. Start date February 1, 2020.
For more information contact Livingston Associates at 410 243 1974.

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