Position Description

Chief People Officer
Location Chicago
Job Code 526
# of Openings 1
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About Chicago Public Media

Home to WBEZ  and the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Public Media is the largest local non-profit news organization in the country. WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times serve more than 2 million people weekly across broadcast, print, and digital platforms.  As a mission-driven organization, we aspire to become the essential and most trusted news source that Chicago turns to each day for understanding the people, events, and ideas that shape our community.

WBEZ is home to local and national news programming as well as a growing portfolio of popular podcasts. WBEZ serves the community with fact-based, objective news and information, and its award-winning journalists ask tough questions, dig deep for answers and expose truths that spark change and foster understanding. WBEZ is supported by more than 86,000 members, hundreds of corporate sponsors and major donors. In 2022, WBEZ received more than 20 awards for its journalism, including two prestigious National Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Chicago Sun-Times is Chicago’s oldest continuously published daily newspaper serving Chicago and is known for its hard-hitting investigative reporting, in-depth political coverage, timely behind-the-scenes sports analysis, and insightful entertainment and cultural coverage. Chicago Sun-Times is winner of eight Pulitzer Prizes and countless other awards. 

Chicago Public Media believes independent journalism is essential to a well-functioning democracy and access to fact-based, objective news and information is a right of every citizen. We serve the public interest by creating diverse, compelling content that informs, inspires, and enriches. We connect diverse audiences and help them make a difference in the community, the region and the world.  And, we employ 300+ staff who want to belong to an organization that inspires, supports, and challenges them to do their best work.

For more information, please see the Chicago Public Media Annual Report .


Chief People Officer Job Description

Reporting to the President and CEO, the Chief People Officer of Chicago Public Media will play a crucial role in building the human capital strategies for WBEZ and Chicago Sun-Times to achieve its goals.  CPM’s senior business leaders are committed to developing a long-term human capital plan that ensures the organization is building a diverse and inclusive workforce and one that is reflective of the community it serves.  The CPO will bring vision and pragmatism to a role that requires strategic thinking to achieve organizational goals, as well as the tactical skills necessary for the implementation of HR initiatives. 

The CPO will serve as a trusted advisor, coach, and colleague to the CEO and the executive leadership team and will be a proactive partner and collaborator to support senior executives in their ability to effectively recruit, deploy, grow and lead talent throughout the organization.  

In this role, the CPO will provide leadership, vision, development, and overall management of all HR activities and staff, including the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; learning and talent development efforts; talent acquisition and reinforcement of the organization’s culture, values, and mission through the design and delivery of exceptional programs and services.  These programs and services should facilitate the professional development and continuous learning of team members, particularly executives, front-line managers and emerging leaders.  

The CPO will be a hands-on leader, who will facilitate the acquisition and retention of the most qualified talent available; act as a catalyst and motivator for the continued development of a strong, open, community-centric culture; advise executive leadership in the development of long-range goals and initiatives; reprioritize existing resources to support strategic initiatives; and accurately and clearly communicate performance expectations, opportunities, and issues to support the business lines. 

As Chicago Public Media continues to grow and as WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times continue to collaborate more closely, one of the roles of the CPO will be to build staff connections and programs that serve all staff teams across the organization.


Key Responsibilities

  • Advisor to CEO & Executive Leadership:  Provide strategic thinking on talent acquisition, compensation strategy, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, organizational effectiveness, talent development and change management. Engage with the CEO and Executive Leadership team to support the organization’s mission, vision, values, goals, and key metrics by developing short- and long-range HR plans, strategies, and policies. Understand CPM’s strategic business goals and develop robust HR strategies and tactics, including training and development programs that support and align with these goals.

  • Strategic Planning:  Create and implement a strategic human capital plan that aligns with the organization.

  • Develop and Coach HR Team: Build internal consulting competencies so that the HR team functions as credible business partners, culture & change agents, capable talent managers, organizational consultants, strategic thinkers, impactful coaches and responsive solution providers.

  • Culture Development:   Develop practices that foster an accountable, engaged and high-performing workforce that reflects the mission, values and culture of CPM.

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:    Create and implement the overarching company strategy for DEI as it relates to the mission, values and culture of the organization.

  • Talent Acquisition:  Develop a compelling employment brand and recruitment process for attracting, hiring and retaining the best talent.

  • Talent Development:   Create a learning and development program, career development and performance management process that helps staff develop in their careers and engages all managers in assessing and developing talent.

  • Compensation Strategy: Create a competitive, structured compensation plan that attracts, motivates, and retains talented staff, based on an assessment of current market conditions and aligned with a goal of maintaining and enhancing a competitive position.  Ensure immediate and long-term compensation plans are aligned with the strategic plan of the organization. Annual review of pay equity analysis and ensure compliance with pay equity laws.

  • Compliance: Ensure compliance with and fulfill reporting obligations in connection with workplace safety, discrimination, harassment, and wage, hour & benefit laws.



The CPO ideally has 12+ years of HR experience, with 3+ years in senior leadership roles.  You are a strategic leader with a strong business acumen and with proven experience in building collaborative teams and relationships across all levels of the organization.   Specifically:

  • You will have experience implementing best-in-class HR practices, ideally in a non-profit and/or union environment.

  • You will have expertise in talent review, talent management, change management and developing high performance work cultures.

  • You have conducted pay equity analyses and developed compensation programs that comply with pay equity laws.

  • You have driven, measured, and delivered results by establishing key HR performance indicators.

  • You have played a significant role in leading initiatives around company culture, diversity & inclusion, learning & development, within organizations experiencing change. 

  • You have managed employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

  • A Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business administration, or related field. An MBA or Master’s degree and SPHR certification is preferred. A combination of education and professional experience will be considered.

The essential functions described above are not all-inclusive and may change periodically to meet the needs of Chicago Public Media (CPM).  The information contained in this job description is not intended to create any contractual or other legal commitment.  Chicago Public Media may change the content or format of this job at any time in its sole and exclusive discretion without notice.

This role is based in Chicago, and is expected to be in the office at Navy Pier at least three days a week. 

Any applicant who is interested in this position may visit wbez.org to apply or click on this link

Working at Chicago Public Media
Our associates are in service of our mission. We work at our newly renovated open and collaborative space at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL.  We know it is imperative that our workplace reflects our community so we can, in turn, provide content that connects people.  We are committed to having a workplace that thrives by creating a place of belonging where everyone can contribute their talents.  If you share our passion for public service news and information, join us!  Check out our LinkedIn page for further details: https://www.linkedin.com/company/chicago-public-radio/?viewAsMember=true  

Chicago Public Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we actively seek and welcome people from all backgrounds, orientations and life experiences to join our team.

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