Chicago Public Media is one of the largest and most respected public media organizations in the country. With an unparalleled reputation for creativity and innovation across all platforms, Chicago Public Media provides substantive news and insights, thoughtful conversation and meaningful connections to its diverse audiences throughout the Chicago area, as well as nationally and globally. The organization has a legacy of innovative program development having launched such iconic shows as This American Life, Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me…, and the ground-breaking podcast Serial.
Chicago Public Media engages with its listeners and users across multiple platforms, including broadcast radio, digital streaming, and mobile apps. Its flagship station, WBEZ-Chicago (91.5 FM), delivers a weekly listening audience of over 550,000, and broadcasts throughout Chicago and the surrounding region. WBEZ’s website, wbez.org, is a top-performing website and its newly launched mobile app allows listeners to fully control their experience through its groundbreaking re-player functionality and on-demand platform. WBEZ’s sister service, Vocalo Radio (91.1 FM, vocalo.org), targets a multicultural audience through an urban alternative format.
The organization is on an upward trajectory and in the midst of a transformation from a traditional broadcast radio station to a diversified digital audio service. With a tradition of journalistic excellence and innovation, and financial stability, Chicago Public Media is poised for growth in a region where private sector print and broadcast news competitors are facing significant challenges.
The Technical Operations Assistant – Digital Broadcast Specialist (TOA-DBS) performs a broad range of duties related to the execution of daily radio broadcasts, the delivery and development of multiple live streams and on demand audio channels, and managing broadcast IT infrastructure for remote codecs, production studios and field equipment.
As a TOA-DBS at Chicago Public Media, you will support the Digital and Broadcast Operations team through the development, delivery and maintenance of a variety of digital audio products, including live streams for multiple radio services (WBEZ, Vocalo, This American life), on-demand audio for wbez.org and WBEZ Podcasts (Nerdette, Sound Opinions, The Trouble with Shannon Cason and others), and associated technologies such as dynamic digital advertising platforms (Adswizz, Megaphone).
Working with external vendors as well as internal digital developers and content creators, the TOA-DBS will provide support to multiple project teams and advance best practice technical solutions, training and workflow analysis. The TOA-DBS also works directly with digital streaming hardware and software to ensure a high-quality listener experience, and that Chicago Public Media’s streaming infrastructure keeps pace with colleagues in the public radio system and industry best practices and advances.
The TOA-DBS can occasionally expect to engage in more traditional broadcast and audio engineering duties as well, including engineering taped and live broadcast segments for WBEZ and our studio clients around the world, providing audio support for live events and offsite podcast recordings, and managing the technical operations of remote broadcasts and other special events. The TOA-DBS will also join the rest of the operations staff as instructors for technical trainings at Chicago Public Media, including general and advanced studio use, digital publishing workflow, quality control/assurance procedures for digital audio, editing software, field equipment and emerging recording and broadcast technology.
Duties and Responsibilities
Maintain and develop Chicago Public Media digital streaming and on-demand audio infrastructure
Monitor stream delivery as the key liaison for internal support and escalation with vendors
Work with Content Delivery Networks and other vendors to add and modify current services, and train Chicago Public Media staff on best practices
Communicate updates on digital broadcast resources to the institution, and work on project teams with digital developers and editorial staff to create new products for CPM web and app platforms.
Work with broadcast library tools to maximize potential for streaming and on-demand applications
Track and report on digital-audio related support issues and their resolutions
Train Chicago Public Media staff and interns on best practice use of studios, software and equipment
Provide general technical support for Chicago Public Media staff via help desk ticket system
Flexibility to cover off-hour emergency response duties in mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays when they occur.
Periodic holiday coverage as part of a rotational work schedule across the team
Ability to lift equipment for installation or setup, up to 50-60 lbs.
Mobile phone with data plan required