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Job Description

First Things, the country’s leading journal on religion and public life, seeks to hire a Director of Programming to drive growth in audience, influence, and revenue. 

First Things has an outstanding reputation, strong brand, and deep reach into key conversations throughout the world. Our goal is to double our audience over the next five years. We seek a strategic thinker who can maximize the value of current programs, increase engagement through new forms of media, and evolve the portfolio of live events. 

Current Publications:

Our flagship publication, First Things, is published 10 times a year for nearly 30,000 subscribers, more than 20,000 of whom receive the publication in print. presents the magazine in digital format and publishes fresh web material every day. The website logs more than one million average pageviews per month from more than four million unique visitors per year. With over 130,000 active social media followers, First Things newsletters are delivered to more than 30,000 weekly subscribers.

The First Things podcast, “Conversations with Mark Bauerlein,” appears twice weekly and receives 10,000 listens.

Current Programs:

First Things hosts one large lecture a year in New York City (500 attendance) and one in Washington, D.C. (250 attendance). Regional lectures are hosted on an ad hoc basis. 

The First Things Intellectual Retreats offer day-and-a-half seminars and lecture programs (two per year) geared to 80–100 participants. We host monthly reading groups and sponsor 2–4 invitation-only seminars in New York, as well as executive seminars in various cities around the country.

Since our early years, we have spawned reader-organized groups that discuss the current issue of the magazine, Readers of First Things (ROFTERS).

Our Expectations:

The Director of Programming will:

Develop a plan to increase subscription revenue by 50 percent and social media and web engagement by 100 percent. The Director will assess our current program offerings, our publication mix (print, online, apps), our price structure, online pay wall, and marketing.

Propose to the Editor-in-Chief new publications, podcasts, programs, and products that raise revenue and amplify influence. We desire to hire someone capable of formulating ambitious plans and managing the work these new initiatives require.

Identify outside consultants and service providers required to implement new efforts in marketing, design, and programs. 

Work with the Director of Development to turn our growing audience into financial supporters. 


This position reports to the Editor-in-Chief. Its holder must be organized, reliable, and able to work in a self-directed manner. Success will require the confidence and determination necessary to hold the organization’s leaders accountable to their goal of ambitious growth.

The ideal candidate is already a reader of First Things and has enthusiasm for our mission. Experience in the business of publishing is preferable but not required. A passion for excellence is our most desired qualification. 

Salary: $60K–$100K (negotiable, depending on assessed abilities)

Contact: Lauren Geist,

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Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before the clock above hits zero.

First Things is proud to be a reader-supported enterprise, and the Spring Campaign is one of only two major reader giving drives each year. It ends on June 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Your gift will fortify First Things to speak boldly on behalf of religious voices in the public square ahead of a pivotal season for our nation and the church.

Please give now.

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