Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Director, Product

Who We Are:

Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) is a member-supported public media network whose mission is to strengthen the civic and cultural bonds that unite Southern California's diverse communities by providing the highest quality news and information service on air at 89.3 KPCC, online at and through KPCC In Person. Since our founding in 1999, SCPR has been a fast growing, innovative, multi-platform public service newsroom. Every day, our staff helps audiences catch up on the latest headlines, solve the complexities of life in Southern California, and connect curious communities to one another.

Position Summary:

The Director, Product Development is charged with overseeing the development and management of digital products for Southern California Public Radio, home of KPCC and, including web sites, mobile applications and other emerging platforms. The role will spearhead day to day product development initiatives for both of our brands: KPCC and LAist. This includes engaging deeply and regularly with our audiences, surfacing and developing requirements from and with all key internal stakeholders, facilitating development sprint planning, designing and implementing streamlined processes and automations, acting as POC with third-party vendors, and helping to grow the digital product team.

The position will be responsible for identifying, testing, documenting, deploying, measuring, and monetizing new products, features, and emerging media experiences. This person will ensure that all projects are aligned with the corporate strategic goals, and will work to build cross-functional consensus around prioritization and scope of all digital projects.

This role will not initially have direct reports, but will eventually be responsible for expanding and growing the product team in four key program areas: sites and infrastructure, mobile technology, on-demand technology, and data and revenue. This person’s initial focus will be around on-demand program development. Because we are currently a small team, experience working in rapid-growth organizations such as startups or tactical R&D teams is preferred.

We are looking for candidates who bring to the table a unique blend of skills including being a user experience expert, having editorial savvy, able to demonstrate success in scaling revenue and conversion, and bring an intense passion for technology, news, and/or the future of public media. The role will require someone who can:

Position Responsibility:

    • Collaboratively define product vision for SCPR in partnership with the digital team, senior stakeholders, and other departments
    • Combines the organizational skills of project management with a product manager’s talent for understanding how people engage with content in various contexts
    • Understands the power of good process and is able to build communication structure and strong cross-functional creative collaboration. Great at seeing both the big picture and at building the process to achieving it
    • Wants to discover, verify, and meet the real news/information/entertainment needs of new and emerging news audiences and adjacent markets
    • Thrives in an environment of constant feedback, from users, the newsroom, leadership, designers, and developers
    • Maintain high-level product roadmaps for key digital products
    • Manage requirements gathering and prioritization around various products
    • Collaborate with software engineering and audience data and analytics to maximize resources and produce measurable results
    • Foster a creative and productive work environment. Create development opportunities and individualized development plans for staff and training to enhance skills and foster growth
    • Validate internal and external product releases

    Essential Functions:

    • Orchestrate product roadmaps that deliver meaningful, focused releases to customers while affording maximum flexibility for development teams and changing priorities
    • Promote features that demonstrate a great chance of success and discard bad, mediocre or merely good product ideas before they are built
    • Build audience and revenue through successful product development and deployment
    • Articulate features and requirements for the design and development team, and document those requirements for SCPR senior leadership
    • Document goals and KPIs prior to all releases and launched initiatives
    • Develop a deep knowledge of SCPR’s existing suite of products for the web and mobile devices, as well as the systems that support them
    • Uncover customer needs and motivations that lead to innovative product ideas through a variety of audience research methods: in-person interviews, direct observation, remote usability testing, surveys and responding to customer support requests
    • Other duties as assigned.

    Required Education and Experience:

    • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent working experience
    • Experience working with engineering teams through agile software development and release processes
    • Experience marketing and shipping B2C products to large audiences
    • Deep understanding of the digital user experience, incl. user behavior and personalization
    • Experience with web and application development, especially native mobile, agile/scrum methodologies, test driven development, mobile and web measurement processes and platforms
    • Experience with wireframing, rapid prototyping and iterative design process
    • Experience in online advertising and traffic-acquisition optimization (SEO)
    • Experience working with large-scale, consumer-facing Web sites
    • Experienced in the use of bug reporting and project management software (Asana, Jira, etc)

    Required Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

    • Sharp assessment skills with an ability for ruthless prioritization and triage
    • Strong ability to create clarity from ambiguity
    • Comfortable with running lean
    • Solid oral and written communication skills in an interdisciplinary team environment
    • Excellent at distilling abstract content and product concepts for stakeholders
    • Ability to balance small task management with creative big-picture product thinking
    • Strong understanding of technical and system-related component of potential and existing products. Must be able to identify and define technical requirements
    • Comfort with and bias towards frequent and deep user research, both qualitative and quantitative
    • Ability to work independently with little supervision
    • Leadership and personnel skills and ability to inspire and lead staff
    • Solid oral and written communication skills
    • Able to communicate and function effectively in a highly-distributed and remote work environment

    Preferred Skills and Experience:

    • Deep understanding and background of on-demand audio platforms and channels such as podcasting, digital radio, and smart speaker skills
    • Strong experience with content management systems (CMS), preferably for enterprise-level applications
    • Experience managing (administratively) teams of product and/or project management personnel
    • Experience with high-traffic media or e-commerce sites
    • Proficient in both basic design tools & process (Photoshop, Illustrator, sketching) and basic web development skills (HTML, CSS, Javascript)

    Physical Demands and Working Conditions:

      • Must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
      • Ability to manage some work outside of standard office hours as needed.
      • Physical Demands: 
        • Required to move about in an office environment and sit for extended periods of time
        • Required to move about in the community 
        • Frequent use of hands for data entry/keystrokes and simple grasping
      • Working Conditions:  
        • Moderate noise level

      Diversity creates a healthier atmosphere: All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

      We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply.


      Support for LAist comes from