President, USC Radio Group (Los Angeles, CA)

President, USC Radio Group (Los Angeles, CA)

The Organization – University of Southern California Radio Group:

USC Radio Group (USCRG) is the parent entity for two of America’s top classical radio stations, Classical California KUSC and Classical California KDFC, along with the fast-growing Classical California digital platform.  KUSC and KDFC have been championing the power of classical music for over 70 years in Los Angeles and the Bay Area/San Francisco through great music, support of the arts, and compelling storytelling from knowledgeable hosts.  USCRG is a division within USC’s University Relations, which is responsible for advancing the university’s cultural, civic, community, and educational missions.


USCRG is a thriving broadcast entity that includes the two flagship and 10 additional FM station transmitters across California.  Together with a robust digital presence, USCRG provides classical radio music to over 2 million listeners.  The stations are all licensed to the University of Southern California (USC), one of the world’s leading research universities with an unparalleled commitment to classical music and the arts.  In April 2022, USCRG launched Classical California, a new umbrella brand, providing a space where KUSC and KDFC can co-exist alongside new digital services that nurture a love of classical music for all.  With an annual budget of $18 million, a $130 million comprehensive campaign underway, a talented staff and a strong strategic plan, USCRG is well-positioned for future success.


Located in downtown Los Angeles, KUSC is the largest and most listened to non-profit classical music station in the country.  KDFC, located in the San Francisco Arts District, recently moved into its new state-of-the-art Batwisha Minor Broadcast Center located within the also-new Bowes Performing Arts Center.  Together with the digital platform, both stations are dedicated to making classical music and the arts a more important part of more people' s lives by presenting high quality classical music programming, and by producing and presenting programming celebrating the arts, culture and diversity of all the communities they serve. USCRG is also an essential portal to more than 1,500 arts and music organizations in California.


The Situation:

USCRG has gone through historic, positive and successful growth over the last several years.  It’s in Year 2 of a groundbreaking 5-year strategic plan, highlighted by the creation of Classical California.  They are enjoying the fruits of its successful campaign to fund and build out a new KDFC broadcast.  And, it has created an internal work environment of collaboration and team-orientation, with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, working to blend the cultures of the two stations to create a space of creativity and empowerment.  The strategic plan is focused on five priorities:


  1. Developing the cohesive Classical California brand with increased marketing to drive engagement and awareness;
  2. Evolving from a radio mainstay to a digital pioneer, while ensuring the continued strength of the radio presence;
  3. Creating meaningful and enriching community and member engagement;
  4. Inventing a sustainable and evolved membership model;
  5. Building inclusive content and engagement for new and potential audiences as well as an inclusive, respectful workplace for all Radio group employees.


The Opportunity:

Reporting to the SVP, University Relations (who in turn reports to USC President, Carol Folt), the President, USC Radio Group will oversee all staff, operations, finances and content of KUSC, KDFC and the digital platform.  This person will be both the lead external face of USCRG and its efforts, as well as a dynamic, empathetic and inspiring internal leader, who will grow, develop and evolve a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, transparency and empowerment.


Specifically, the President will work closely with the Philanthropy group and across the civic landscape to help play a key role in securing major gifts for USC Radio.  This person will also work with arts leaders in Los Angeles and San Francisco (such as with the heads of Symphonies, Operas and other organizations) to help bring classical music to the public and will oversee distribution of content on all existing and emerging technology platforms (as well as through live events), leveraging these opportunities to expand USC Radio to new communities and listeners.  This professional will not be afraid to drive change and continue to foster a culture of connection, teamwork and unity between the Los Angeles and San Francisco operations. This leader will also be the lead advocate representing USCRG within USC itself.


In short, the President will lead this burgeoning arts organization with a mission to increase opportunities for those from all diverse communities within Los Angeles and San Francisco to connect with, be involved in and have access to classical music.


Thus, the next President with be a seasoned, experienced and mature organizational leader who is capable of developing, communicating and executing a vision and yet whose fundamental nature is one of team-orientation and collaboration.  This individual will have run a nonprofit and will ideally have experience in digital, public media and radio.  The President will see the opportunities with emerging technological platforms and will be curious how audiences receive different content on different platforms. 


Demonstrated experience with, and knowledge of, nonprofit fundraising is key, as is a transparent and proactively communicative style, and the ability to listen, empower others and be present. This person will be both scrappy and not afraid to roll up their sleeves while being comfortable and collaborative within a large anchor institution like USC (the largest private employer in Los Angeles).


Importantly, this person does not have to be trained in classical music but they absolutely must have a passion for, and substantive familiarity with, the genre.  This leader will be excited about working with other leaders in the genre and about leading a classical music-driven arts organization.  In this way, the next President, USCRG will have a tremendous opportunity to affect not only the organization but the future of classical music in Los Angeles, San Francisco and beyond.


Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate:

  • Passion and knowledge of classical music.
  • Ten+ years of experience in a senior leadership role in public media, radio and/or a nonprofit arts organization with an understanding of music on digital and broadcast platforms.
  • Significant experience in strategic planning, budgeting and managing multiple priorities in a nonprofit setting.
  • Strong leadership experience and skills that include the ability to attract, hire, train, motivate, and retain talent. A demonstrated ability to lead others and achieve results in a team-oriented environment, while fostering belonging in a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.
  • Demonstrated experience as a transparent, empathetic and proactive communicator with staff, peers and subordinates. Adept at communicating effectively across all levels of leadership while inspiring confidence.  Outstanding oral and written communications skills and the ability to make effective presentations.  
  • A high level of professional executive presence and decisiveness, when interacting with key leadership, decision-makers and stakeholders.
  • An understanding of the values, sound and sensibility of public radio and enthusiasm for the station, the region, and the value of localism. Knowledge of public radio and the public radio system.
  • An understanding of digital behavior and current/emerging digital platforms; experience building audiences, leading the integration of content, including local, national and international content, across platforms.
  • A strong track record of applying insights from analytics and benchmarks to content decisions on air and online.
  • Bachelor’s degree and an advanced degree preferred.


If Interested and Qualified, please contact:


Melissa Petersen

Talent Acquisition Specialist

Stanton Chase

Email: [email protected]


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