NPR to Cut 10% of Its Staff
NPR will lay off 10 percent of its staff to make up for a $30 million gap in its budget, the company’s chief executive said on Wednesday.
In an email to the staff, John Lansing, the news organization’s chief executive, said that the public radio network’s financial outlook “has darkened considerably over recent weeks.”
“At a time when we are doing some of our most ambitious and essential work, the global economy remains uncertain,” Mr. Lansing wrote in the email, which was obtained by The New York Times. “As a result, the ad industry has weakened and we are grappling with a sharp decline in our revenues from corporate sponsors.”
Mr. Lansing said that the budget shortfall this year, once estimated to be $20 million, had grown to at least $30 million. He said NPR, a nonprofit with a work force of about 1,100 people, had already cut $14 million in expenses through eliminating open positions, restricting nonessential travel and suspending internship programs. But those moves, he said, were no longer enough to prevent job cuts.
A spokeswoman for NPR said at least 100 positions would be eliminated in the round of layoffs.
“I recognize that all of this is deeply unsettling, and I know that this introduces an uncomfortable period of uncertainty,” Mr. Lansing wrote in the memo. “We will move as swiftly as possible to provide clarity about the reductions needed, working in consultation with our unions.”
He said that the cuts would not “disproportionately impact people of color or any other historically marginalized group” and that he hoped to have a decision on which jobs would be eliminated by the week of March 20.
NPR joins a long line of media companies that have laid off workers in recent months amid falling advertising revenue and the threat of a possible economic recession. The Washington Post, CNN, Vox Media, BDG and Gannett have all laid off workers.