We’re proud of our internship program at WGN: Virtually every department at the radio station has at least one former intern as an employee. Read on to learn what internships we offer, what requirements we have, what you might expect in a WGN internship, and how to apply. (We’ve even thrown in a few tips to make your application stand out!)
- News: WGN News interns get nonstop hands-on experience in a newsroom at the heart of one of Chicago’s leading media organizations — interviewing reporters and newsmakers; generating story ideas; editing digital audio; writing scripts; assisting with news coverage; preparing audio, video and text for WGNradio.com; processing network audio feeds; taking calls from listeners, reporters and newsmakers. News internship shifts available 24/7, throughout the calendar year. Students earning credit preferred. E-mail resume and cover letter to Brandon Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Programming: Programming interns assist in daily production of our live and local talk programming. Tasks may include audio production, creating and posting podcasts, developing show ideas, booking guests, screening phones, editing and special projects. Knowledge of current events (and sports where applicable), especially in Chicagoland, experience with Adobe Audition, and a can-do attitude are especially considered. For programming internships, e-mail resume and cover letter to Kristin Decker at email@example.com
– Morning Show intern – responsible for Steve Cochran Show – 4am-10am
– Midmorning intern – responsible for Leff/Snyder Show 8am-1pm
– Afternoon intern – responsible for Sirott/Murciano Show – 11am-4pm
– Early Evening Intern – responsible for Garry Meier Show – 12p-7p
– Evening intern – responsible for David Kaplan Show 4p-11p
– Night intern – responsible for Pete McMurray Show – 10p-2am
- Sports: Covers sporting events, answers phones, researches, writes, and produces stories. Assists in production of play-by-play presentations and sports talk shows, including: booking, ideation, screening phones, audio production, editing, completion of promotional/programming paperwork, and special projects. E-mail resume and cover letter to Dave Eanet at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Promotions: This position calls for an enthusiastic, eager and detail-oriented individual with strong verbal and written communication skills, excellent organizational abilities, and the ability to think on one’s feet. Applicants must represent station in a positive manner at station events.Applicants must be available to work a variable 15-hour week – e.g. Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 10am-3pm – including support for evening or weekend events as scheduled. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and be comfortable driving the station’s promotional van or have access to a personal vehicle to drive to station events.The Promotions intern duties include preparing for and working at promotional events and remote broadcasts, taking photos during events/promotions and posting them on wgnradio.com immediately following events, managing contest winner fulfillment, managing prize inventory and show prize lists, fulfilling merchandise orders, and responding to listener inquiries/requests. Must be comfortable interacting with employees, clients, and listeners. Video editing skills a plus, though not required. E-mail resume and cover letter to Morgan Sharar-Stoppel at email@example.com
- Sales: This is an interactive and dynamic internship that relies on the intern to be self-motivated and disciplined, with a passion for learning. The intern will create sales marketing materials that will be used to upsell current clients and sell prospects advertising campaigns on WGN Radio. The intern will go on actual sales calls with account executives to learn about the sales process. The intern will work on sales initiatives that connect radio advertising with online advertising opportunities. E-mail resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Web: Seeking a talented and creative intern to assist with daily web maintenance, video editing, graphic design and story and photo posting on wgnradio.com. Applicants should be either a junior or senior in college, detail oriented, efficient and can work with a flexible schedule. Must be able to work independently with direction, interact well with a variety of personalities, and have the ability to take initiative. This is an opportunity to contribute to the station website and gain valuable hands-on experience. Candidates for this position should be experienced with: Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Dreamweaver, content management systems, and basic video and audio production. Schedule is flexible, but applicants must be available to work a minimum of 20 hours a week. (See deadline note below.) E-mail resume, cover letter, and samples of your work (if available) to Morgan Sharar-Stoppel at email@example.com
How to Apply
It’s best to e-mail your resume and cover letter, though we do accept applications by regular mail. Please indicate which internships you’re most interested in, and send your information to the attention of the appropriate person above, care of:
WGN Internship Program
435 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Applications should be received by the following deadlines to assure full consideration. Late applications will be considered for future terms. Dates listed subject to change.
Tip: Summer internships have the greatest number of applicants and therefore are toughest to get. Consider a fall, winter, or spring internship to increase your chances.
Programming, Sports, Promotions and Sales Internships:
Term: May 19-August 15, 2014
Deadline for Resumes: February 21, 2014
News Internships: Schedules are flexible
Term: May 1-August 31, 2014
Deadline for Resumes: April 21, 2014
Term: September 1-December 31, 2014
Deadline for Resumes: August 18, 2014
Web Internships: Schedules are flexible
Interns are selected on the basis of professional potential. We look at our internship program as a developing ground for future employees — that’s not to say all interns will get hired here, but one of our goals is to see how many responsibilities an intern can handle, on the chance an employment opportunity becomes available. So this isn’t a coffee-fetching, grunt work internship. We trust our interns to handle duties that require the utmost in responsibility, diligence and enthusiasm.
Tip: when applying for an internship, specify which particular post you’re interested in. Tell us not just why you’d be good for that internship, but why that particular internship would be good for you.
WGN is an equal opportunity employer. Interns are considered trainees and not employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1973.
- Current college student (junior, senior, post-graduate).
- Internship must be taken for credit.
- Familiarity with WGN Radio and the Chicago market is preferred.
- Previous radio or other media experience (school, internship, or professional) preferred.
- Responsibility, judgment, organization, dependability, promptness, initiative, creativity, and efficiency are key to the success of interns along with the ability to handle deadlines, writing, and audio production
- Internships are unpaid.
- Fall (@ August – November)
- Winter (@ November – February)
- Spring (@ February – May)
- Summer (@ May – August)
Web and News internships have flexible schedules and are filled on an as needed basis.
During the internship, interns gain exposure to the realities of working in radio and gain exposure to related fields. Interns have the opportunity to prove themselves and determine if radio is a career for them. Interns make friends and contacts that they can network with as they start their career. After interns complete their term at WGN Radio, some return to school and share their new experiences. Other interns volunteer or temp at the station. A few become part-time employees. Occasionally, interns obtain full-time positions at WGN. Many interns take their experiences to other media outlets where they begin rewarding careers.
Former interns at WGN Radio have held these positions:
specialty show host
assistant news director
assistant program director
afternoon drive host
morning drive producer
overnight show producer
assistant traffic manager
network affiliate coordinator
midday news anchor
TV sports anchor
television news anchor
TV news reporter
TV traffic reporter
cable TV reporter
network VP of sports
NCAA play-by-play announcer
IHL play-by-play announcer
radio network sports reporter
foreign news service director
TV news anchor
GM of a CBA team
TV talk show producer
The history of WGN Radio
Bought by the Chicago Tribune in 1924, WGN was a pioneer in the beginnings of radio. WGN delivered the first broadcasts of The Indy 500 and The Kentucky Derby. It was the first station to broadcast a courtroom proceeding. The Scopes evolution v. creationism case was the original “trial of the century” and Chicago heard it live on WGN. (The WGN microphone used during those proceedings is on loan to the Smithsonian.)
The development of police radios began here as police calls were broadcast over the air so the police could be on the scene as quickly as possible. This relationship with peace officers evolved to some of the first metropolitan traffic reporting and the launching of a WGN Trafficopter fleet.
Along with CBS, NBC, DuMont, and Blue networks, WGN competed and assisted in forming the Mutual Broadcast Network.
Pioneers in radio entertainment with live in-studio orchestras and original radio dramas (such as Little Orphan Annie), the station has never really changed format, but evolved. This included the adjustment radio had to make as television came to be (WGN-TV Channel 9 and WGN America are our sister stations). Sportscasting, remotes, and use of phones on-air are still important developments in use today.
The radio home to millions across mid-America, WGN is one of the highest rated stations in Chicago. Because of our progressive and flexible full-service news and talk format, an internship here is like working at several different stations.
Besides talk, WGN flexes its format depending upon what’s going on in our listeners’ lives:
- Breaking story internationally or locally, and news is the emphasis.
- Athletes retiring, championships being won, or a big trade and Chicago’s WGN Radio 720 is Chicago’s Sportstation.
- When there’s nasty weather, the WGN WeatherCenter meteorologists and Traffic Central reporters give all the details.
- A summer Friday and it’s time to lighten up. Fun takes the lead.
On an average day we’re mixing all these elements and more….
- Home of Chicago Cubs baseball, Chicago Blackhawks hockey, and Northwestern University football and basketball.
- Popular, unique professional personalities.
- A 50,000 watt clear channel that broadcasts to parts of 38 states Canada and Mexico at night.
- Winner of ten Marconi Awards (radio’s Oscar).
- One of the top grossing radio stations in the country.
- Voted the Most Respected and Admired radio station in the country by the radio industry.
- Audio streaming world-wide via its web site http://wgnradio.com/listen.
- For more on our history, visit wgngold.com
Chicago’s WGN Radio 720
A Tribune Broadcasting Station
WGN Radio 720 continues as a broadcasting leader in Chicago and around the world, and has been called the most respected and successful radio station in America. Our long running internship program has produced many successful professionals, not only at the station, but industry-wide thanks to the guidance of the 100+ professionals employed here.
The WGN Radio Internship Program is an intensive hands-on experience where assignments are necessary and make a difference. Interns work at our studios in the architecturally classic Tribune Tower in the heart of downtown Chicago (central to public transportation).
WGN has had great success with its intern program. Interns are an important part of our day-to-day operation and many have gone on to successful careers in media.