Senior Director, Programming Strategy, Topic (Temp)

First Look Media, New York, NY

See jobs at First Look Media

This is a 6-month contract position with the possibility of becoming permanent.

The Role: 

Topic is hiring a Senior Director, Programming Strategy to oversee the programming strategy behind Topic’s SVOD and AVOD streaming service, in order to maximize subscriber acquisition, viewer retention and engagement, and revenue. 

In addition to being Topic’s thought leader on the strategy behind how our programming is presented, this role includes day-to-day management of how titles are displayed and organized in Topic’s streaming services, including analysis of all primary and secondary data, input into and understanding of the development and acquisition slate in collaboration with the Development & Acquisitions team, and serving as the communications hub for all information regarding upcoming programming to all internal groups.

The Senior Director will be an integral member of the Topic team and will report to the General Manager, Topic with a dotted line into the VP, Originals Programming and Development. The Senior Director will initially have one direct report. 

Primary Responsibilities: 

  • Manage the day to day programming and scheduling across all Topic O&O and distribution platforms
  • Strategize unique approaches and initiatives to bring to life Topic’s video offering; ensure cohesion in how programming is presented.
  • Work with and analyze all available data to ensure Topic’s programming experience and editorial strategy are aligned with our audience’s interests.
  • Spearhead on a title by title basis the programming and launch planning across the company in collaboration with Marketing, Creative, Press, Social, and Distribution.
  • Collaborate closely with Topic’s Programming, Acquisitions, PR, Marketing, Creative, Distribution, and Analytics team to ensure a cohesive programming experience for our audience 
  • Work closely with Marketing and Creative teams on all stunts and programming initiatives to raise Topic and Topic content awareness
  • Oversee the tone and voice of how Topic’s programming is presented within the streaming experience, including the context for our audience around our titles
  • Partner on programming tone of voice across all channels, inclusive of social brand platforms, email/newsletter marketing, push and in-app messaging.
  • Partner with Analytics team to regularly iterate programming strategy driven by audience and industry trends 
  • Along with Marketing, be in regular communication with distribution platform’s Editorial teams to highlight and present Topic’s programming
  • Deliver meaningful in-person and written insights on programming trends, performance, the competitive landscape, and audience behavior
  • Identify growth opportunities through testing programming, publishing techniques, and promotion
  • Management of direct report(s), including career development and retention efforts. 

Background & Qualifications: 

  • 6-8 years of experience in programming, programming strategy, and/or scheduling at a streaming service, broadcast or cable network, studio or production company, or festival
  • Track record of solid editorial judgment, a high standard of ethics, and a forward-thinking attitude
  • Ability to approach Topic’s programming strategy from a highly curated, festival style mindset, focused on bespoke and innovative initiatives
  • Deep understanding of how to craft an offering for consumer audience segments and understand and utilize insights/analytics to guide decision-making.
  • Excellent writing skills; ability to produce in diverse voices and tones. 
  • Experience working with and managing talent relationships is preferred 
  • Knowledge, passion for, and interest in television, film, entertainment, and culture.
  • Proven experience in identifying opportunities for business optimization and evaluating those initiatives
  • Strong analytical abilities/skills, including data analysis
  • Excellent interpersonal skills which will enable candidate to interact with a wide range of personalities/styles and establish effective relationships at all levels of the organization
  • Exceptional attention to detail and effective communications
  • Exceptional ability to prioritize
  • Curiosity and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, frequently changing, dynamic setting


Topic is the ambitious new storytelling brand and entertainment studio from First Look Media, dedicated to supporting creators at the forefront of culture. 

From Academy Award®-winning films to television, audio and digital, we explore a wide range of subject matter, both fiction and nonfiction with an emphasis on stories of consequence that explore the issues of our time. Our approach – challenging, compelling and unconventional – reflects our commitment to discovering and amplifying independent new voices, and supporting established ones.

About First Look Media

First Look Media is a new-model media company devoted to supporting independent voices, from fearless investigative journalism and documentary filmmaking to smart, provocative entertainment. Launched in 2013 by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media was created with the belief that independent perspectives are vital to both a vibrant culture and a thriving democracy. 

First Look Media is currently in the market with its flagship properties, The Intercept, Field of Vision, and the soon to launch Topic SVOD service, and plans to continue expanding its mission of supporting independent voices via a variety of new brands, formats and platforms as well as through foundational technology helping creators and audiences develop, distribute, discover and connect with meaningful stories.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer--people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply; we are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities.   

About First Look Media

A bold, independent spirit defines everything we do at First Look Media – from journalism that holds the powerful accountable, to arts & entertainment that shapes our culture. Launched by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, First Look Media is built on the belief that freedom of expression and of the press, and fiercely independent perspectives, are vital to a healthy democracy and a vibrant culture. Through our award-winning entertainment studio, Topic, we develop, produce and finance content for all screens including feature films, television, digital series and podcasts. First Look’s entertainment business supports the work of our nonprofit side, which is home to The Intercept, dedicated to fearless, adversarial journalism; Field of Vision, the filmmaker-driven documentary unit; and The Press Freedom Defense Fund, supporting journalists, filmmakers and others challenging actions that restrict press freedoms and impede access to information of public concern. First Look co-financed Spotlight, the 2016 Academy Award®-winning Best Picture and has continued to build an impressive slate of feature films under the Topic studio including: On the Other Side, with Carey Mulligan attached, which tells the story of Kate Webb, the female war correspondent who was held in captivity during the Vietnam War; Academy Award® nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto’s (Silence) directorial debut of Bastard with Martin Scorsese and Emma Tillinger Koskoff of Sikelia Productions, alongside producer Jordan Horowitz (La La Land); My Abandonment directed by Academy Award®® nominee Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone, Down to the Bone) and starring Ben Foster (Hell or High Water, The Messenger). In addition to feature films, our documentary film roster includes: No Man’s Land, produced in association with Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets, about the Patriot Movement; Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker & Trails of Free Press, directed by Brian Knappenberger, which premiered on Netflix; and the newly released Risk, from Academy Award® winner Laura Poitras (Citizenfour) about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, which will premiere on Showtime this month. Our list of influential podcasts covering politics, current affairs and popular culture include the number one charting (iTunes) Missing Richard Simmons, Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill and Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu. We also publish The Nib, a site for the most provocative satirical and political comics.

First Look Media

Want to learn more about First Look Media? Visit First Look Media's website.