Chief Financial Officer
Chief Financial Officer, New York Public Radio
With an urban vibrancy and a global perspective, New York Public Radio (NYPR) produces innovative public radio programs, podcasts, and live events that touch a passionate community of more than 24 million people monthly on-air, online, and in person. We produce award-winning enterprise journalism, nurture today’s most creative talent, and create innovative programming and products that bring the best of public radio to listeners everywhere. Through independent journalism, stories that matter, courageous conversations, and the power of music, we create impact – deeper understanding, richer conversation, and more engaged and enlightened communities. Our work has changed hearts, minds, and sometimes even policy or law.
Over the past few years, NYPR has been a leader in public radio and in the exploding podcasting space at a time of great disruption in the media industry. From its state-of-the-art studios in New York City, NYPR is reshaping radio for a new generation of listeners with groundbreaking, award-winning programs including Radiolab, The Brian Lehrer Show, On the Media, The Takeaway, All of It and Carnegie Hall Live, among many others. NYPR is well-positioned to continue to do groundbreaking multiplatform journalism and music programming for listeners of diverse backgrounds, in New York, across the country, and around the globe.
New York Public Radio has been transformed from a City-owned municipal radio station reaching one million people a month to an independent nonprofit with eight local radio stations, the first digital local news site Gothamist, a live performance venue, and 18 nationally distributed programs/podcasts that together reach more than 24 million people a month. Today, NYPR has a $100 million operating budget and 380 employees.
NYPR’s values, both on air and off:
Listening is our core strength. We listen with curiosity and empathy to each other, to our city, our audiences and our work. We believe in equity and inclusion in the stories we tell and in the ways we treat each other. We define diversity, in broad terms, as the multifaceted mix of people of different ethnicities, races, cultures, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, experiences, and abilities. We believe that diversity is essential to honest, authentic, accurate storytelling and reportage; creating an inclusive workplace in which all voices are encouraged and heard is a core part of our values as an organization.
We invest in our people and help them chart their way. We have courageous conversations. Creativity is a hallmark of our work and our service. Through bold moves as well as continuous improvements, we push the boundaries to drive impact. Every day, we challenge ourselves to be better. We explore and explain the why – with our colleagues and with our audience. We believe that we can be better together. We support each other, participate in good faith, and deliver honest feedback. We invest in each other’s success. We strive to do the right thing. We are accountable to each other, to New York Public Radio as a whole, and to our community of listeners. We expect excellence and have fun celebrating successes, learnings, and insights.
Reporting to NYPR’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will play a critical role as a member of the executive leadership team. The CFO will serve as a partner to the CEO and as an advisor to the executive team, providing leadership in both short-term and long-term financial planning. The CFO will partner with senior leaders across the organization to ensure that the finance function is aligned on best practices, will provide consultative support on all planning initiatives, and will address financial challenges as they arise. The CFO will also have oversight of legal, business development, and broadcast operations, and serve as the lead executive and liaison with the Finance, Audit, and Investment Committees of the board.
The CFO will play a key role in shaping NYPR’s ambitions and embrace the challenge of developing a strategy for growth even as our current listeners move off of broadcast platforms and onto digital platforms, as new audiences adopt listening habits on these new platforms, and as competitive threats and challenges increase. The ambition of the organization, alongside a shifting media landscape, should be a thrilling challenge for the right individual.
The Finance department is charged with safeguarding and growing the company’s assets while ensuring compliance to audit and generally accepted accounting principles and ethical standards. Through proactive financial planning and analysis, the finance department will enable NYPR to plan for and achieve its goals in the most efficient way possible. The department’s core functional areas include:
- Financial planning and analysis
- Budgeting and long term financial planning
- Accounting and financial reporting
- Cash management and all other Treasury functions
- Audit, tax, and other government/grant filings
- Investment and capital account oversight
Goli Sheikholeslami, Chief Executive Officer
VP of Finance
Director of Financial Planning & Analysis (newly created position, to be filled)
Chief Technology Officer
Senior Director, Strategy and Business Development
The CFO will oversee a total team of approximately 50 professionals, including 8 in finance, 35 in broadcast engineering, and small groups in legal, business development, and strategy
Other key relationships
Chief Content Officer, WNYC
SVP of Music, WQXR
Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Marketing Officer
VP, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
other members of the leadership team;
Board of Trustees; in particular the Chairs of the Finance, Audit and Investment Committees
Financing Sources and Investment Professionals
Auditors and Tax Professionals
- Act as a strategic partner to NYPR’s CEO and executive leadership team on the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic vision;
- Work with the CEO to prepare the three-year strategy and financial plan and the annual operating budget and work in partnership to ensure programmatic success, and ensuring financial sustainability;
- Evaluate and advise on the impact of long-range planning, introduction of new programs/strategies and required compliance and regulatory actions;
- Cultivate and manage relationships across the organization and with key external stakeholders including but not limited to NYPR’s Board of Trustees, donors, and partners.
- Ensuring the integrity of the organization’s financial operations, financial systems, and financial statements.
- Be responsible for the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of financial information provided to internal and external parties and facilitate the use of key performance indicators, metrics, and institution-wide financial analysis to inform decision making.
- Oversee the management and coordination of all fiscal reporting activities and ensure adequate controls are installed to safeguard NYPR’s financial assets;
- Oversee the coordination and activities of independent auditors and ensure that compliance obligations are met and the timely submission of the IRS Form 990 filing requirements and CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) requirements;
- Analyze and manage cash flow, cost controls, and expenses to guide leaders across the organization and to ensure the organization’s needs are met;
- Oversee the production of monthly reports including reconciliations with funders as well as financial statements and cash flow projections for use by senior leadership, as well as the Board of Trustees;
- Develop and implement finance, accounting, financial grants management, and auditing policies and procedures; and approve and coordinate changes and improvement in automated financial and management information systems;
- Train and mentor staff on raising awareness and knowledge of financial management matters; coach, mentor and develop finance staff across the organization.
Within the first 6-12 months, the CFO will have made significant progress on the following objectives:
- Structuring, leading and developing the finance team;
- Upgrading financial systems to produce clearer, timelier, and better management reporting;
- Developing a greater sense of financial discipline to help return NYPR to a path of financial sustainability;
- Working closely with the CEO in developing a 3-year strategic plan that positions the organization for the future audience and revenue growth; and
- Partnering closely with development colleagues to build a narrative in support of major fundraising and sponsorship initiatives that are tied to the wider mission of the organization rather than to specific projects or initiatives.
The ideal candidate will be a broadly skilled, sophisticated finance executive with significant leadership skills and a strong affinity for the mission of NYPR. They will have extensive experience as a leader overseeing accounting, financial operations, and financial planning; a strong understanding of a content-driven organization, and demonstrated success working as a part of a senior leadership team driving innovation and business process improvements. The ability to move fluidly between being a strategic advisor and a thought partner to the CEO and senior leaders, and the detail-oriented work of financial operations, is key. The CFO will thrive in a fast-paced, complex media environment where excellence, accountability, flexibility, creativity and a can-do attitude are the norms.
Senior Leadership Experience
15+ years of progressively more senior and complex leadership roles, ideally culminating inexperience as a CFO.
Knowledge of accounting, financial operations, and financial planning is required, as is depth in areas such as management reporting and financial systems.
Relevant Industry Perspective
A strong understanding of a content-driven organization is ideal, as is a strong affinity for the mission of NYPR. Non-Profit operating business experience is important (ideal) but not required.
Prior oversight of a team of 25+ is preferred.
A bachelor's degree in a relevant field is required; a CPA and MBA are preferred.
CRITICAL LEADERSHIP CAPABILITIES
NYPR seeks an accomplished finance leader who can provide expert financial leadership and insight in a complex and rapidly changing environment.
- Leads NYPR’s financial management function, ensuring the development of systems, policies, and structure to support a robust finance organization with strong discipline and internal controls.
- Works closely with the executive team and board to develop a long-range financial and business model that supports the strategic priorities of NYPR.
- Provides leadership that brings innovative and creative solutions to achieve organizational objectives.
- Analyzes alternative approaches in operating and financial issues.
- Identifies new processes and/or systems to improve productivity and/or make the business more efficient, implementing best-in-class solutions.
Communication and Influencing Skills
The CFO will be an energetic and collaborative partner.
- Translates NYPR's broad strategies into clear, specific objectives and plans for units and individuals.
- Has an effective interpersonal, presentation, and communication style which demonstrates the ability to listen and engage openly and transparently across a diverse and complex community, both with colleagues and others outside the organization (i.e., independent auditors, vendors, partners).
- Ensures that NYPR is adhering to the financial elements of its strategic vision; provides status reports to executive leadership, Trustees, and relevant committees of the Board.
- Proactively sees opportunities to support and develop a world-class finance organization.
- Thinks 2-3 years ahead.
Team Leadership Skills
The CFO will be an effective manager and motivator of teams who excel in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
- Leads a financial team through change and growth including realigning roles and responsibilities, increasing expectations, creating a service culture, and developing effective policies and procedures.
- Sets high standards and encourages ambition and creativity for finance personnel across the organization.
- Manages, coaches, and mentors with the ability to attract, develop, and retain a high-quality, diverse, and inclusive finance team.
- Advises and collaborates with senior leadership to articulate organizational priorities and implements change in accordance with NYPR's strategic priorities.
THE SEARCH PROCESS
NYPR is actively seeking to identify the best candidates. To that end, they welcome your comments, inquiries, applications, and nominations, which may be submitted via an e-mail message with supporting materials to: NYPRCFO@SpencerStuart.com