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Chief Engineer

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Official Title:         Director, Unspecified (7)

Availability:           Open until filled; for best consideration apply by 5/18/18


The Chief Engineer is responsible for the planning, management and overall supervision of all aspects of the Wisconsin Public Television Engineering department to ensure the highest possible quality of broadcast and production service.  Our ideal candidate demonstrates prior results in a broadcast engineering leadership role, has effective communication and interpersonal skills, and maintains a detailed working knowledge of IT and broadcast systems and other technologies of a television station.  The Chief Engineer oversees WPT’s maintenance and technical production support teams; oversees equipment planning, purchasing, and system integration; and works effectively with the transmission engineering team at Educational Communications Board.  This position reports to WPT Chief Operating Officer.


  1. Oversee and direct activities of Engineering Department
  • Manage and supervise WPT’S engineering staff.  Create work plans and goals that align with WPT’s strategic plan.  Provide effective coaching and work performance feedback, addressing issues as they arise, and carry out annual formal written performance evaluations.
  • Oversee technical operations of production, broadcast and distribution equipment and facilities including, but not limited to, studios, edit suites, sound suites, Production LAN, long term storage and asset management, closed captioning and field equipment.
  • Develop and supervise continuing education plans for technical staff to ensure that staff develop job skills to accommodate evolution in production, broadcast and other distribution technologies.
  • Assure the continued delivery of high quality television production, broadcast and related services to WPT’s multi-station network.
  • Develop and monitor technical quality control procedures and standards.
  • Lead the planning, implementation and use of new production and delivery technologies.
  • Work with WPT Senior Leadership to drive the creation of an integrated strategic, annual and long range engineering plan including staffing, budgeting and technology investments.
  • Create a vision and implement a work plan for WPT’s technology future.
  • Cover hands-on engineering shifts when necessary.
  1. System design, purchasing, installation, and maintenance
  • Plan, design, purchase, maintain and upgrade technical facilities.  Oversee equipment evaluations.  Select or approve equipment for purchase.
  • Identify, research and resolve technical problems.  Maintain technical standards and assure compliance with Federal regulatory agencies.
  • Work closely and effectively with engineers at the Educational Communications Board (ECB), which manages and maintains transmission and distribution facilities for the WPT network. 
  1. Budgets, grant applications, capital expenditure plans
  • Prepare and oversee annual department budgets
  • Develop and maintain multi-year capital equipment plan.
  • Prepare purchase requests, write bid specifications, evaluate bid responses and select vendors.
  • Assist Grants Manager in the identification and development of technical specifications and supporting descriptions needed for equipment acquisition grants.
  • Maintain written inventory of WPT production facility equipment including remote production truck. Work with ECB engineers on inventory of WHA-TV transmitter equipment.
  1. Technical consultation and compliance
  • Provide technical information to department managers to facilitate their budget planning.
  • Act as technical liaison between Wisconsin Public Television, the Madison candelabra tower and Educational Communications Board engineering and operations.
  • Create and maintain records and comply with pertinent state and federal law and regulatory agencies, including FCC, CPB, and other federal and state guidelines.
  • Serve as Chief Operator of WHA-TV.
  • In conjunction with IT staff, assist with planning and implementation of computer hardware and software.
  1. Other duties
  • Meet all administrative and production deadlines.  Handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced, deadline-based environment. 
  • As a senior manager, comply with the standards of journalistic ethics and excellence described in Ethical Guidelines for Editorial Staff:
  • Demonstrate respect in all work relationships and interactions.
  • Encourage and support an inclusive workplace environment by promoting engagement with diverse perspectives and experiences, including organizational decision-making and hiring.


  • Plan, organize, manage and prioritize multiple projects, schedules and timelines.
  • Manage Engineering maintenance, operations and production support teams.
  • Oversee equipment planning, purchasing and maintenance. 
  • Exhibit sound judgment about and fact-based understanding of issues and problems.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Electronic Technology or related field and a minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible professional experience in television production operations; or any equivalent combination of experience and training.
  • In-depth knowledge and abilities in application of digital television systems including ATSC, 8VSB, and MPEG standards.  Knowledge and understanding of video, audio and control system flow for a television broadcast and digital dissemination production facility.   
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills individually and in a team setting; collaboration skills that actively support a productive, respectful work environment.
  • Proven leadership skills and supervisory experience.
  • Project administration, budget planning and purchasing skills.
  • Experience with Information Technology hardware and software in a broadcast environment.
  • Knowledge of FCC rules and regulations pertaining to broadcast compliance.
  • Demonstrated commitment to supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace.


  • Society of Broadcast Engineers certification.
  • Knowledge/understanding of RF transmission systems and theory.
  • Experience in public broadcasting.


WPT offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and skills.  UW-Extension provides a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, life insurance, pension plan, flexible spending accounts, employer paid training and development, generous paid vacation and sick leave.   

HOW TO APPLY:  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled; however, for best consideration, Please apply by 5/18/18 through  If you are a current UW System employee use  This is Job ID#14243.  Applications must contain a) A detailed resume b) a one-two page cover letter detailing how your experience relates to the qualifications and duties of this position; and c) a list of three to five professional references with contact information and e-mail address; at least one must be a supervisory reference.

Direct inquiries and online support requests to:  Betsy Nelson, Wisconsin Public Radio, 821 University Avenue, Madison, WI  53706, 608-262-5221,


This document can be made available in alternative formats by calling the person listed above.

Prior to appointment to this position, a criminal records review will be conducted.  UWEX complies with the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act with regard to nondiscrimination on the basis of arrest and/or conviction record.

An offer of employment is contingent upon establishment of identity and verification of employment eligibility as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

As a unit within the University of Wisconsin Extension, WPT is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer and no qualified applicant will be eliminated from consideration. WPT is committed to achieving a diverse workforce and to maintaining an atmosphere of diversity and inclusion.  We want our staff and programming to reflect the rich culture and diversity of our state and actively encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.