For an actual job description (from Vermont Public Radio), open this PDF file:
Here is a more generic job description:
The News Director (ND) leads and manages the planning, production and presentation of news. The ND supervises the news department staff. The ND reports to (the program director / general manager) and works in cooperation with station staff to support the station mission.
The ND has responsibility and understanding of news planning, reporting, editing and production. The ND helps define and maintain ethical, editorial, artistic, and technical standards for broadcast news programs. The ND assists with news programming decisions and news operations. The ND helps manage news published to the station Web site and other service outlets.
The ND directs the activities of the news staff to develop story ideas, track issues and events, select reporters for coverage, schedule stories for air, and schedule time for interviewing, writing and editing.
The ND serves as a primary editor to insure news reports are produced in an effective, timely and responsible manner.
The ND acts as a proactive liaison to various internal and external constituencies to advance the station’s news programming. These may include the station programming and operations and development staffs. These may also include other appropriate radio organizations such as NPR, Marketplace, etc.
The ND is part of the news team and contributes content on a regular basis. The ND may need to anchor newscasts, host talk programs, appear as a program guest, and produce various spots, features or special programs.
The ND helps set goals and monitor scheduling and performance of news personnel. Personnel management includes recruitment and hiring. The ND manages the news department budget — including annual planning, monthly monitoring, and routine handling. The ND helps maintain equipment and information systems vital to news planning, newsgathering, news production and news presentation.
The ND seeks opportunities to promote public contact to help ascertain public needs and bolster station success. The ND participates in station events and fundraising activities as appropriate.
The ND adheres to deadlines and makes timely and effective decisions in situations requiring prompt attention. The ND is the primary content manager during times of local crisis.
A four-year degree in journalism — or equivalent — required. Minimum three years full-time professional experience in journalism — preferably radio news. Familiarity with public radio news programming standards and values. Successful candidate will possess broad knowledge of local and regional issues. Must have ability to work within a live program environment. Must have experience in broadcast production, news writing and editing. Must possess effective communication and interpersonal skills. Preferred skills include on-line research, word and spreadsheet processing, and operation of light office equipment. Must have excellent memory for details, be able to meet daily deadlines under stressful conditions, and deal effectively multiple tasks simultaneously.