Skip to main content

National Public Radio Cuts Jobs, Programs

NPR may not have to turn a profit, but it is still taking a big hit from the economic downturn to the tune of layoffs and cutbacks.

The public radio operation said Wednesday that it was cutting its workforce by 7% and paring back expenses, citing a sharp decline in projected revenues that changed a "manageable" $2 million projected deficit for 2009 inbto a projected shortfall of $23 million.

It also has taken a hit in the corporate underwriting department, another trickle-down from the economic meltdown since companies have less discretionary money to spend and ad budgets, which include underwriting spots on noncommercial radio and TV, are being cut.

NPR said it had cut 64 posts out of a workforce of 889. Twenty-one of those are open positions that will not be filled. Travel budgets and discretionary spending will also be cut across the organization.

Also being dropped are two programs, Day to Day and News and Notes, though they will remain on the air through March.

“The difficult decision to cancel two programs and eliminate the jobs of valued NPR employees was made after an exhaustive review of our entire organization, and with the greatest reluctance,” said NPR’s Interim President and CEO Dennis Haarsager in announcing the cuts. "It’s crucial to realize that these programming changes are being driven by a loss in revenue, not relevance,” added Ellen Weiss, NPR’s sneior VP for news.