Director of Programming


Tue, Sep 3, 2019


Tue, Oct 22, 2019

The Director of Programming leads Wisconsin Public Television’s (WPT) Programming Department, serves on WPT’s Senior Leadership Team and reports to the Director of Television.  This position has overall responsibility for WPT’s broadcast schedule and responsibility to track viewership across broadcast and digital platforms informing WPT’s content plans.  The Director of Programming creates and manages Programming budgets; represents WPT programming to internal and external audiences; and manages Programming staff. This work emphasizes the distribution of Wisconsin content as well as having a diversity of content to serve Wisconsin’s diverse audiences. The Director of Programming collaborates with other WPT Departments including Production, Communications, Development, and Education to focus on community impact. This position requires editorial judgment, creativity, a facility with metrics and research, and an understanding of audiences and the changing world of content delivery.

Bachelor’s degree.


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible professional experience in programming, content creation/distribution, or marketing related experience.
  • Minimum 4 years’ experience directly leading, supervising and managing staff.
  • Knowledge of PBS programs and audiences, knowledge of editorial standards, and an eye for engaging content.
  • Ability to identify trends and implement plans driven by data.
  • Proven leadership skills, complex project administration.
  • Budget planning experience.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills including presentation and public speaking
  • Meticulous attention to detail.
  • Experience working with content creators and with transmission and technical colleagues.
  • Collaborative, generous, enthusiastic and creative colleague.
  • Demonstrated commitment to supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace.
  • Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel and database software.


  • Experience interpreting Nielsen ratings and television viewership and marketing trends.
  • Knowledge of ProTrack.
  • Knowledge of media rights and copyright.  Experience working with Legal Dept.
  • Familiarity with public media program providers.
  • Knowledge of the people, issues and cultures of Wisconsin.

Apply online at by 10/22/19. The job number is 100184. All of the following must be received for your application to be complete: 1) Resume; 2) A cover letter describing how your experience relates to the job duties and minimum and desirable qualifications.

Finalists will be asked to provide at least three professional references including e-mail and phone contact information; at least one must be a supervisory reference.

Questions? Contact: Erin Cook, Wisconsin Public Television, 821 University Avenue, Madison, WI, 53706; 608-263-0477, [email protected].


1. Management, Planning and Implementation

  • Lead the Programming department to create and manage schedules for WPT’s four broadcast channels: WPT, the Wisconsin Channel, and two additional PBS services (Create and PBS Kids 24/7).  Work closely with colleagues to coordinate roll-out of original WPT content on all platforms to maximize audience awareness and impact.
  • Set and maintain quality standards for WPT programming.
  • Develop annual department budgets, work plans and supervise implementation including strategically using a program acquisition budget to augment the core PBS schedule with Programming that further meets WPT’s strategic priorities, is responsive to the needs and interests of Wisconsin residents, and offers a rich diversity of subjects, ideas, issues, and people.  Actively engage with Program Providers such as BBC, APT, Acorn, NETA and EPS.
  • Work closely with Director of Production and WPT Production Units by helping inform production planning through knowledge of audiences, PBS pipeline, etc.
  • Work with Development to acquire and schedule programming for successful pledge drives; and with Production and Development to sustain pipeline of effective Wisconsin pledge programs.
  • Create, develop, and implement innovative and effective goals and strategies for WPT programming.
  • Work closely with Television Operations Center (OC) and Engineering to ensure efficient and precise on-air operation.  Work effectively with Operations to ensure acquired programs meet WPT broadcast standards.
  • Collaborate with Online Manager and Director of Production on an online distribution strategy for acquired and WPT originally produced video content.  Work closely with PBS and LLS provider(s) to deliver WPT’s livestreaming channel.
  • Evaluate and interpret ratings and viewing trends, providing WPT leadership and staff a metrics dashboard and continuing information on audience measurement for broadcast and other digital delivery.
  • Create and maintain strategic relationships with outside content producers to solicit and collaborate on Wisconsin-focused content. In collaboration with Director of Production, assist outside producers when content being acquired by WPT needs additional shaping. In collaboration with WPT Legal secure commitments, negotiate contracts and ensure programs meet underwriting and technical requirements.
  • Serve as principal liaison with PBS programming services regarding WPT schedule, program usage, surveys, etc.  Actively engage with Programmers throughout the system and attend national Programming meetings.
  • Collaborate with partner Public TV broadcasters in the Midwest, especially those serving Wisconsin, to feature high impact work.
  • Provide leadership within WPT. With Senor Leadership Team, develop WPT goals, strategies, and means for implementation and assessment supporting WPT’s principles, practices and strategic goals.
  • Keep abreast of local and national trends for programming, educational, and communications technology, including implementation and opportunities presented by ATSC-3, and reflect this knowledge within WPT activities and strategic investments.
  • Keep abreast of current events, the interests and needs of Wisconsin citizens, and current programming strategies within public broadcasting, and ensure that WPT programming activities reflect this knowledge.
  • Participate in the WPT Planning and Priorities Committee.
  • Present the monthly TV programming schedules at regular ongoing cross-departmental meetings to communicate the program schedule and program priorities.
  • Participate as needed and appropriate in securing funding for WPT projects.  As a WPT leader, represent WPT in public and with key constituents.

2. Staff Supervision and Development

  • Inspire, teach, lead, and supervise TV Programming staff of 3.5 FTE. Provide leadership and ambitious goal-oriented plans for the department. Track professional development needs and drive training that advances staff opportunities and prepares WPT for the future. Provide timely performance feedback, hold staff accountable for establishing and reaching measurable goals and provide formal, annual, written performance reviews.
  • Encourage and support inclusive, diverse working climate by promoting engagement with diverse perspectives and experiences in work product and organizational decision-making, including hiring.

We expect to pay in the $80s to $90s for a highly qualified candidate contingent on experience and qualifications.