Scion Executive Search (www.scionexecutivesearch.com) has been retained to conduct the search for a General Manager (GM) for Free Speech TV (FSTV). FSTV’s mission is to empower an informed and active citizenry to build a more just, equitable world. The organization stands as an alternative to television networks owned by billionaires, governments, and corporations. Its programming amplifies underrepresented voices and those working on the front lines of social, economic, and environmental justice. The GM will be the organization’s head operations guru, managing the organization’s leadership team, working as a strong partner to the Executive Director, applying knowledge of the evolving media landscape and digital content, and designing and implementing strategy with an eye on FSTV’s future. This visionary, yet hands-on leader works with a committed, productive, and passionate team that is fueled by the mission to advance racial, economic and environmental justice. This full-time opportunity is for immediate hire and will work a hybrid model, spending part time in the office and part time working remotely, dependent on team needs. As public health conditions permit, this role will continue to work 2-3 days per week in office. Key to this role is spending time with, engaging, and partnering closely with the leadership team. Some national travel will be required of this role (COVID-pending).
ABOUT FREE SPEECH TVFSTV is one of the last standing national, independent news networks dedicated to advancing the movements for racial, economic and environmental justice. Steeped in the belief that a just, kind, and sustainable world is built by people inspired by diverse voices, surprising conversations, and fearless truth-telling, FSTV seeks to mobilize and empower these inspired individuals and teams. FSTV celebrates diversity and lifts up voices and points of view historically excluded from media and power structures, including those of people of color, indigenous people, women, those living in economic instability at home and abroad, LGBTQ communities, people with disabilities, and youth. The organization is driven by a fierce commitment to antiracism, which it strives to realize internally as well as in its programming and service to movements working to dismantle White Supremacy. FSTV reaches more than 35 million U.S. television households across metro and rural areas alike on DIRECTV, DISH, and a network of full- and part-time cable affiliates. The programming reaches millions more on livestream and on-demand digital platforms including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Sling TV, Alexa, social media and www.freespeech.org. Most people know FSTV as the platform for arguably the strongest line-up of progressive television programming, including 11 hours every weekday of live news, analysis and talk, including: Democracy Now!, Stephanie Miller Show, Thom Hartmann Program, and the Randi Rhodes Show. Other programming includes independently- produced documentaries and special coverage of national convenings and actions, such as the Poor People’s Campaign, Bioneers and Netroots Nation. FSTV viewers are passionate, loyal and engaged. According to market research, they come to the network not only for trustworthy news and insights to make sense of today’s world, but also to connect with a larger, values-aligned community and to gain tools to personally engage in the work of social change. FSTV was launched in 1995 and is headquartered in sunny, vibrant Denver, Colorado, nestled near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The network is run by a small but mighty team of 18 media and movement professionals, and it is governed by a national Board of Directors. The network’s “secret sauce” is its commitment to the cultural values of honesty, transparency, support, respect, accountability, solutions-orientation, compassion, tenacity and a strong work ethic. Owned and operated by Public Communicators, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, FSTV is funded primarily by its viewers with some support from philanthropic foundations. FSTV broadcasts are commercial-free, but the network does accept underwriting sponsorships from socially-screened companies and nonprofits. Learn more at www.freespeech.org.
POSITION OVERVIEWAs a senior member of the leadership team, the GM will report to the Executive Director (ED) and oversee the daily operations of the organization which include staffing, programming, engineering, television and digital distribution, promotions, fundraising, and business affairs. Leveraging strong skills in business, operations and leadership/management, the GM will help envision, design and implement a strategic plan to enrich FSTV’s offerings, expand its audience and grow its funding base – all with the ultimate goal of impacting the national conversation, public policies and individual practices. Managing the Controller, Digital Director, Operations Director, Program Director and Development Director, the GM will have an eye on and hand in the organization’s production, digital and distribution affairs, content creation and programming, finances and budgets, and overall revenue generation/fundraising. The GM, in partnership with the ED, Board and staff, will play a key role in advancing the network’s antiracism work, internally and externally. Key to success in this role will be the ability to design – and execute – a vision for the future of operations for the organization in partnership with the ED and other members of the senior leadership team.
- Lead the organization’s department directors in envisioning the future development of FSTV in a manner that is: driven by the organization’s mission and by the needs of its constituents, sustainable and ethical with respect to both financial and human resources and supportive of the efforts of FSTV’s progressive media peers and movement allies.
- Oversee the organization’s internal operations related to staffing, programming, distribution, digital content, physical facilities, fundraising, and business affairs.
- Oversee the day-to-day financial management of FSTV and proposing project and operating budgets to the ED.
- Negotiate and oversee the organization’s contracts with content providers/hosts. Provide ongoing relationship management, as well as exploration of potential new partnerships.
- Develop strategic plans for critical areas of the network in collaboration with and at the direction of the ED.
- Manage/support fundraising and development efforts, including participating in direct asks when tactically appropriate. Contribute to the conceptualization and development of larger project proposals, supporting revenue generation for such opportunities and managing the day-to-day execution of such initiatives.
- Facilitate interdepartmental coordination around daily operations and special projects.
- Supervise, support, and empower the Controller, Digital Director, Operations Director, Program Director and Development Director.
- Work with the Controller and ED to address personnel and HR matters.
- Protect the legal, financial, and general well-being of the organization and assist staff with specific tasks and projects that are material to the organization’s well-being.
QUALIFICATIONSThe ideal candidate for this position will be highly passionate about FSTV’s mission and vision of achieving an informed and active citizenry to build a more just, kind, and sustainable world. This inspired leader will bring strong experience with social justice movements and a deep commitment to antiracist work. We are seeking an individual with strong business acumen, project management skills, knowledge of the evolving media landscape and digital opportunities and proven experience growing audiences to apply their knowledge and expertise to grow FSTV’s impact. This individual will possess strong skills in contract management, including negotiations with external vendors or partners, contract review, and external vendor/partnership management. The incoming GM will be an experienced operations leader who can jump between high level strategy and day-to-day operations, all while being a reliable and dedicated partner to the ED in realizing the vision and goals of FSTV. The ideal candidate will bring:
- Genuine passion for FSTV’s mission, values and antiracist commitment. A desire to make a real difference in the world and in the lives of others.
- Firsthand experience living with and/or fighting against racial, economic, environmental or social injustice.
- Five (5) years or more of demonstrated success in operations in the digital space, television and/or video.
- Work with truth-telling journalism and/or storytelling.
- Previous oversight responsibilities of a department or organization’s strategic plan.
- Experience growing an organization’s revenue and audience.
- Experience working for an organization with $3.5 million in revenue or larger.
- Experience working with executive leadership to set and achieve organizational goals and strategies.
- Demonstrated resourcefulness and adeptness in a resource-limited context.
- Demonstrated ability to manage competing demands and shifting priorities.
- Comfort dealing with all levels of institute staff.
- Excellent communication skills, adroit organizational skills, and impeccable attention to detail.
- Ability to inspire a team, donors, partners and allies.
- A growth mindset eager for new experience, professional development opportunities and mentoring as needed.