On-Call Program Host

San Francisco, CA

Position Summary

A KQED Program Host is tasked with hosting local, statewide or national radio and podcast programs, and is often asked to host breaking news programming, special coverage or other shows.

A Program Host at KQED should be collaborative and have good editorial judgment. Hosts are expected to write, report, research, conduct interviews and contribute to KQED and the newsroom in myriad ways, across all our platforms. Additionally, Hosts assist in news planning and editing, stay atop daily local and national news through multiple sources, and then deliver and produce that content on-air, live or pre-recorded, in an authoritative and conversational manner that connects with listeners. Hosts are knowledgeable and comfortable leading interviews and conversation with guests and the audience on a broad range of topics, with curiosity, respect and empathy. 

Hosts are expected to edit and produce audio, shape pitches, frame stories, and write for audio. 

KQED Program Hosts are expected to be ambitious and dedicated journalists, capable of juggling multiple tasks at once and meeting mission-critical deadlines –– all in a respectful, collaborative manner.


Forum is one of the country’s most listened-to local radio shows. For more than three decades, it has helped lead the conversation in the Bay Area and California, and provided a unique opportunity for KQED to connect with and hear from our audience. Forum is not just any radio program. The show helps provide essential news and authentic conversations on the country’s most popular public radio station.

KQED is seeking an on-call host to fill in anchoring this iconic show. The on-call host must not only embrace Forum’s tradition but also contribute to growing the show to reach more diverse audiences.

An on-call Forum Program Host is a critical on-air and public-facing role at KQED. They work with a team of producers to identify show topics and do research to prepare for the show. They deeply research and prepare for topics from news to politics to books to culture and can pivot to cover breaking news as needed.

The host of Forum is knowledgeable and comfortable leading interviews and conversation with guests and the audience on a broad range of topics with curiosity, respect and empathy. The Forum host is most likely an experienced broadcast journalist who upholds the high production standards and journalism tenets of KQED. The Forum host thrives on responding to breaking news and holding public officials accountable. They are insatiably curious and love to explore new ideas and celebrate the diversity of Northern California.

On-call journalists play a critical role and may fill in for multiple positions in KQED’s newsroom. They often work inconsistent schedules and could work across various roles.

KQED is a fast-paced news environment with daily deadlines. We are looking for people who love Bay Area and California news and have a strong sense of communities that are underrepresented. We’re also looking for applicants who can think critically about the media's role in our democracy and region. 

We strive to be intentional about employing talented journalists who can demonstrate cultural competency, who have familiarity with specific communities and who can find diverse sources.

KQED envisions a public media organization with a culture that centers on human dignity, equity, and belonging. This will enable us to better serve and reflect the Bay Area through diverse and inclusive storytelling. 

We value the contributions of marginalized people in society — including Black, Indigenous, and all people of color,  people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ people — and we believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do, and we strongly encourage members of these communities to apply.

KQED Code of Ethics  https://www.kqed.org/about/code-ethics

The mission that drives us:

KQED provide citizens of Northern California with a community-supported alternative to commercial media.   We provide citizens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions; convene community dialogue; bring the arts to everyone and engage audiences to share their stories. We help students and teachers thrive in 21st-century classrooms, and take people of all ages on journeys of exploration- exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

This role will work hybrid between working in KQED's newly renovated headquarters and working remotely. KQED requires employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The successful candidate will be required to join The Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). 

Salary Information: $44.00-$54.00 per hour

Essential Functions:

  1. Hosting of KQED’s Forum talk show from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and/or 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  2. Working with KQED’s editors, producers and reporters to deliver distinctive journalism, textured storytelling, and deep conversations
  3. Working with the senior show editors and producers to build an inclusive and collaborative team culture
  4. Writing scripts, researching topics, and preparing interview questions

Knowledge/Experience Required:

  1. Demonstrated track record in broadcast, print and/or online journalism. Experience in hosting a live, call-in talk radio program desired
  2. Engaging and accessible presence on audio journalism platforms
  3. Experience of and aptitude for building a strong, collaborative and inclusive team culture
  4. Excellent writing and editing skills
  5. Excellent live interviewing and interpersonal communication skills
  6. Strong news judgment
  7. Demonstrated editorial coverage planning experience
  8. Working knowledge of a broad range of issues in Northern California including subjects such as government and politics, economics, education, health, legal affairs, and the environment. In addition, demonstrated interest in literature and the arts preferred
  9. Thorough knowledge of journalistic principles, ethics and standards
  10. Demonstrated ability to work under strict deadlines
  11. Demonstrated ability to handle late-breaking program changes under pressure

Knowledge/Experience Desired:

  1. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent broadcast news gathering, editing and/or production experience
  2. Excellent knowledge of Northern California’s news, politics, history and diverse communities
  3. Familiarity with social media
  4. Experience in other forms of journalism produced at KQED, including digital newswriting, social/engagement journalism, podcast production and traditional radio broadcast news reporting

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