Director of Audience Engagement
Chicago, IL Audience
Job Type

Who is the Chicago Sun-Times?

The Chicago Sun-Times is the hardest-working paper in America, covering the stories and issues that matter most to Chicagoans with depth, integrity, and grit. The newsroom has earned eight Pulitzer Prizes for its hard-hitting investigative reporting, in-depth political coverage, insightful sports analysis, entertainment reviews, and cultural commentary. An industry-leading innovator in local news, it has been recognized nationally for expanding digital and multimedia reporting platforms alongside its indomitable newspaper, the oldest continuously published daily in the city.

In January 2022, the Sun-Times merged with public radio station WBEZ with a shared mission to strengthen local journalism in Chicago. Under the banner of Chicago Public Media, Chicago Sun-Times Media, Inc. (CSTM) is now part of one of the largest nonprofit news organizations in the nation. This merger reinforces our commitment to serving Chicagoans with the news that matters most -– fact-based, unbiased journalism that is deeply connected to Chicago communities.

An Opportunity to Make an Impact


The Chicago Sun-Times seeks to hire a newsroom leader who is passionate about building loyal audiences, growing audience engagement, and collaborating with teams across the newsroom to better serve our community.  The ideal candidate knows how to strategically, intentionally, and inclusively build diverse audiences for local news – identifying both loyal and underserved audiences and finding innovative ways to deepen our relationships with them.  The right candidate should also have at least three years of experience building and engaging audiences, ideally in a daily news environment. Management experience is preferred.

Our Director of Audience Engagement has the following responsibilities: 

  • Develops the end-to-end audience strategy for the Chicago Sun-Times newsroom to grow audience reach, engagement, loyalty, and subscriptions – and to help make our content even more essential to the Chicago area community. 
  • Works collaboratively with the executive editor, the chief digital strategist, and other stakeholders throughout the newsroom to identify and build relationships with underserved audiences while retaining relationships with our current loyal audiences. 
  • Manages a team responsible for social media posting, home page management, push alerts, SEO, newsletters, live blogging, and writing and reporting digital-first stories.
  • Edits multiple content pieces per day including stories, newsletters, Twitter threads, and other social copy.
  • Sets goals for social media strategy, with an emphasis on growing our audience on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Manages and grows current newsletter products, including our flagship newsletters: Morning Edition and Afternoon Edition.
  • Works with other editorial staff to improve search, social, and home page headlines. Improves digital versions of stories to engage current subscribers and attract new ones.
  • Develops and executes implements the push alert strategy.
  • Tracks traffic and engagement using tools like Chartbeat, Google Analytics and Crowdtangle to spot trends and identify opportunities to grow and better serve our audiences.
  • Works across teams and functions to launch audience engagement experiments and feedback channels intended to build community and loyalty.  
  • Experience collaborating cross-functionally across teams to instill an audience-first approach across our operations.
  • Passionate about listening and building relationships with existing and prospective audiences across the Chicago area, especially in historically marginalized or underserved communities. 
  • A sophisticated and impact-focused approach to goal-setting and metrics.
  • Ability to convert data and analytics into hypotheses and knowledge about our different audiences, designing and evolving audience experiments to learn more.
  • Experience managing multiple projects at different paces, prioritizing and juggling both short- and long-term deadlines. 
  • Ability to develop and manage a collaborative, inclusive, and influential team.
  • Very strong communication skills and habits.

What We Offer

  • A competitive salary and benefits package
  • Opportunity to work within a collaborative team culture
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Opportunity to be part of an iconic brand!

The information contained in this job description is not intended to create any contractual or other legal commitment. CSTM may change the content or format of this job at any time at its sole and exclusive discretion without notice. This role does not offer sponsorship employment benefits.

CSTM does not discriminate in its employment decisions based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, citizenship or national origin, veteran status, or on any other basis which would violate any applicable federal, state, or local law.