The Texas Tribune, the state’s go-to source for Texas politics and public policy news, is looking for an action-oriented, accomplished events professional to lead its signature live journalism program, with as many as 50 free events a year (both virtually and in-person) and its biggest event of the year, the Texas Tribune Festival, which draws hundreds of speakers and thousands of guests to Austin each September.
The Events Director leads planning, execution and communications for our live events, which bring our journalism in real time to audiences across Texas. Among other responsibilities, the events director oversees strategic planning; venues, permits and contracts; marketing and promotion; registration and Festival ticket sales; out-of-town travel and day-of logistics and on-site registration; A/V production and post-production; and Studio 919, our in-house event space.
The Events Director oversees a dynamic 5-person team that includes the deputy events director, an associate events director and two technical directors. The Events Director reports to the Editor in Chief, and also works especially closely with the CEO; the Chief Revenue Officer, who oversees sponsorships; and the Chief Development Officer, who manages grant-funded programs. The Events Director also needs to work seamlessly with our marketing/communications and digital design and product teams.
The Events Director needs business savvy, and the ability to work closely with sponsorship, fund-raising and membership teams since our events are a vital part of our nonprofit organization’s annual budget. The Events Director does not need a journalism background, but should be passionate about the role of news in fostering civic engagement and democratic participation. We also seek candidates who are passionate about reaching new audiences through live journalism, including younger Texans and historically underserved communities.
This is a management position, based in Austin. The minimum salary is $92,000 but may vary according to experience.
Develop and maintain an annual events schedule based on the Tribune’s editorial vision, strategic priorities and revenue goals
Manage all aspects of the annual events program, including preparing annual budgets, monitoring expenses, booking venues, etc.
Work with the Editor in Chief, senior leaders and other stakeholders to bring the Tribune’s journalism, editorial priorities, mission and brand to Texas audiences
Lead and manage both employees and contractors, including those working to plan, produce and execute the flagship Texas Tribune Festival each September. Their duties include developing event run-of-shows, coordinating all on-stage logistics and managing speaker communications
Oversee Studio 919, the Tribune’s on-site events space, and identify customers to rent out the space (maximum capacity roughly 85)
Develop and create new event formats and opportunities
Collaborate with revenue development teams to strategically integrate sponsors and donors and meet event-specific revenue goals
Work with marketing and audience teams to expand audiences for events
Work with reporters and editors who serves as speakers, panelists and moderators
Work closely with designers to ensure the integrity and consistency of the organization’s brand identity
Manage and mentor both full-time team members and contractors, including overseeing their career development, personal growth and work-life balance
BA/BS degree and 10+ years event planning and production experience including virtual event experience OR equivalent combination of education and relevant experience
2+ years in management and/or an aptitude for building and leading teams
Aptitude for developing, building and stewarding internal and external stakeholders
Superior project and time management skills, excellent writing and communication skills
Organized and detail-oriented, highly effective at juggling multiple projects on time and on budget
Willingness to travel and work evenings and weekends as needed, approximately 15 - 20 nights each year
Facility with Google Suite, Splash, Zoom, Mailchimp, Airtable, Basecamp and Salesforce
Strong discretion and courtesy when dealing with all Tribune contacts and relationships
Proven ability to remain cool and calm under pressure and work well both independently and on teams
Possess a high degree of adaptability to a continually changing environment
Energized by working in a fast-paced, non-profit journalism environment and have a sincere interest in going above and beyond to further a mission that you believe in
Willingness and ability to adapt to increased demands during Festival planning/production (aka be in “Festival Mode”)
Committed to working with intention and rigor, have a great sense of humor and view yourself as someone still learning and growing
A valid driver’s license for in-town and out-of-town travel
We know there are great candidates who won’t check all of these boxes, and we know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. The deadline is September 9.
About The Texas Tribune
Here’s what you should know about the Tribune. From day one we’ve had disruption, innovation and risk-taking in our DNA. We’re ambitious as all get out but still have the punch-above-your-weight mentality of a scrappy start-up. We believe we can meet the demands of our audience and our own expectations for excellence without breaking the bank — or our staff. We understand not everything is a story for us — we have to make choices — but we’re always looking to expand our boundaries. We’re nonprofit because the challenging economic reality for media these days obligates us to find a different way, reliable and sustainable, to fund serious journalism. We’re nonpartisan because we live in the United States of Confirmation Bias — and we don’t need to be part of the problem. We don’t need to be yet another source of information affirming the voices and perspectives that are already in people’s heads. At the same time, nonpartisan is not non-thinking. We call B.S. when B.S. needs to be called.
All of us at the Tribune believe the best way to achieve that mission is to resemble the state we cover. We’re committed to building an inclusive newsroom for people of all backgrounds and ages, and we’re taking steps to meet that commitment. We especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply for this role, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.
The Texas Tribune office is located in downtown Austin, steps away from the Texas Capitol building. This position is based in Austin, but needs to be office-based given that it’s a management role with numerous stakeholders. We have colleagues in the organization that come into the office on a regular basis and colleagues that are based in various cities throughout the United States.
This job is full time and has the following benefits:
Comprehensive and inexpensive medical, vision and dental insurance
A $50-a-month cellphone stipend
20 days of paid time off each year
12 paid holidays
Up to 16 weeks of paid family leave plus four weeks of additional job protection
Annual 401(k) match of $2,000
A $2,000-a-year stipend for professional training and career development
How to Apply
Submit your application here by Friday, September 9, with a resume and examples of your work, please submit a cover letter detailing your vision for this position and how you would approach the work. We can't wait to hear from you.
The Texas Tribune is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for all, and we encourage applicants of all identities, backgrounds, ages, and abilities to apply. Learn more about The Texas Tribune here.