In an effort to streamline the numerous information-dissemination options at its disposal, Arizona Public Media has created a managing editor position. The new hire will oversee the flow of content onto a variety of platforms and assist the organization in its efforts to create an increasing amount of original programming, most notably on its PBS television affiliate, KUAT Channel 6.
"We want to progress to that next level, and it's almost the expectation that if you have a story on the more-traditional platforms, you're going to also have it on the Web," said Wendy Erica Werden, Arizona Public Media's director of marketing and brand management. "When we begin a project, we'll say, 'What are the platforms? Is this radio/TV? Is this TV/Web, radio/Web, perhaps all three?'
"Since we are focusing on more original productions, we felt we needed a person who could keep the day-to-day processes running smoothly across TV, radio and Web. We've had great success with the two (KUAT-produced) programs that were on the national PBS schedule this year (Phoenix Mars Mission: Onto the Ice and Unforgettable: The Korean War), and we have more on the way."
Arizona Public Media, which oversees two television stations and three radio stations, is searching for someone with more than eight years of experience in a minimum of two of four content platforms (radio, television, newspaper and online). The managing editor will be responsible for the performance of 15 full-time employees and UA student interns.
"We are hoping this is someone with a significant amount of experience," said Werden, who did not get into financials. "... We're finding the funding sources, because we believe it's an important position."
This isn't the last planned Arizona Public Media staff increase; Werden said the organization also plans to hire a few more reporters between now and the beginning of the year.
"You find the positions you need, and you find a way to fund it," Werden said.
ABC affiliate KGUN Channel 9 has brought Jessica Chapin into the reporting fold.
"She comes to us most recently from WMBB in Panama City (Fla.), and I'm sure she's happy to be escaping the oil-spill coverage that's dominated her life recently," said KGUN news director Forrest Carr via e-mail. "She graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a (bachelor's degree) in mass communications and broadcast journalism."
Carr said KGUN is looking to hire one more reporter.