Director of Agricultural Programming, Illinois Public Media (WILL AM-FM-TV-Online)

March 23, 2015

Illinois Public Media seeks a Director of Agricultural Programming to oversee the activities of the IPM Agriculture Department including the development of all agriculture-related content for IPM as well as its distribution over multiple platforms and through community meetings and events. Are you ready to lead the agricultural programming at a rising Midwestern NPR/PBS member station located in a thriving Big Ten University town, strategically positioned between three major metropolitan areas? The IPM Director of Ag Programming will establish a vision to ensure an agricultural service that is robust, relevant and sustainable and that reaches audiences wherever they are, including on-air, online, via social media, on mobile devices and at farm shows, meetings and other agricultural outreach activities.

In performing this job, the successful Ag Director will:

  • Produce and host daily commodity market reports and updates and record daily midday commentary and analysis for radio and web. Maintain contact with and schedule analysts for daily agriculture reports. Understand and effectively explain the movement of commodities markets and general business markets as well as the relationship between US and global markets.
  • Produce the daily agribusiness news segment and other show elements for the Closing Market Report and serve as substitute host of the Closing Market Report and Commodity Week. Production of special programming on USDA report days and other ag-related segments as required.
  • Manage IPM’s relationship with the College of ACES and University of Illinois Extension and oversee the work of IPM’s Closing Market Report and Commodity Week host.
  • Distribute news and information to IPM's agricultural audiences via social media on a daily basis and produce an e-mail newsletter on a weekly basis and on USDA reporting dates.
  • Oversee and participate in agricultural outreach activities including the All Day Outlook Meeting, Farm Asset Conference, and moderate regular evening outlook panel presentations.
  • Create and administer the budget for the Agriculture Department.
  • Participate in marketing activities, community engagement projects and pledge drive trainings and serve as pledge talent during fund drives.  Serve as pledge producer for all Ag related on-air appeals.

Minimum Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in agricultural communications or agri-business.
  • Three years of live, on-air radio or TV anchoring experience, or equivalent.
  • Excellent organizational and people skills
  • Ability to meet numerous daily deadlines
  • High attention to detail and the need for accuracy is essential.
  • Must be flexible and able to handle rapidly changing situations and interruptions
  • Ability to solve problems independently
  • Strong broadcast writing skills, conversational on-air delivery and the ability to run the audio board
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the use of standard broadcasting tools including broadcast studio equipment, digital program delivery and production equipment, new media tools and the ability to operate broadcast equipment while delivering content
  • Must have ability to understand technical analysis of commodities futures markets, livestock markets, and the U-S Dollar Index, as well as the fundamentals of agricultural and general business and energies trading

Preferred Qualifications

  • Reporting and hosting experience in broadcast media and web, preferably in agricultural reporting and in public media broadcasting
  • Working knowledge of Excel, Adobe Photoshop and ProphetX software including ability to build and maintain workbooks
  • Understanding of U-S and world farming practices
  • Understanding of USDA Crop Production, WASDE, Acreage, and Grain Stocks reports and their relationships to price discovery

Illinois Public Media is a not-for-profit public media service of the College of Media at the University of Illinois.  Our mission is to enrich people’s lives through programs and services that educate, entertain, inspire and empower by airing the best of public television and radio programs, producing local content for TV, radio and the Web while working with community partners to address needs and concerns. 

The University of Illinois is home to Nobel Laureates, MacArthur Fellows and Pulitzer Prize winners.  The university’s library is one of the largest in the world and its Krannert Center is one of the nation’s top performance venues.  Residents of Champaign-Urbana enjoy a thriving arts scene, an active night life, Big Ten sports, museums, parks and a growing system of bicycle paths. 


Salary dependent upon qualifications and experience.  This is a full time academic professional position at the University of Illinois Urbana campus. The University offers very generous benefits including one month of paid vacation annually, free tuition for employees, health, dental and life insurance, sick leave and a pension system.


Information available at Complete a candidate profile at and upload a cover letter, resume, list of three professional references, and audio or video samples of your on-air work.  Please let us know how you learned about this job opening. Full consideration will be given to applications received by April 17, 2015.  Interviews may take place before the closing date, but a hire will not be made until after that date. Start date is June 1, 2015 or a mutually acceptable date.  For more information, call Dee Breeding, HR Specialist, at 217-333-7300, or email

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability.  Illinois Public Media welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity.  (