NPR’s CEO, John Lansing, said in an internal memo to staff that was obtained by the Washington Post that the decline in advertising revenue was a major factor in the layoffs. Our financial prognosis has significantly worsened during the past few weeks, he stated.
According to the Post, the primary sources of income for NPR (short for National Public Radio) include sponsorships, member-station dues, philanthropic grants, and federal funds.
Notwithstanding an earlier plan to offset a $20m decline in sponsorship revenue for the 2023 fiscal year, Lansing stated that NPR predicted a $30m budget gap.
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In contrast to the difficulties we encountered during the worst of the pandemic, Lansing wrote, “we foresee increased costs and little sign of a speedy revenue comeback.” “We need to make changes to our expenditure, which is something we can manage.
“We must support NPR’s mission and future with the resources we have, guided by our strategic priorities… There will be some work that needs to adapt or halt altogether when we reduce the number of employees at NPR. It will take some more time to determine what task it is.
The company, which employs about 1,100 people, announced $20 million in budget cuts in November of last year, including a hiring freeze, the suspension of internships, and travel limits. These proved to be insufficient.
As the revenue continued to decline, Lansing writes, “We were doing everything we could against the tide and couldn’t keep trimming our costs.” “We finally reached a point where we could not actually cut anything large enough to fill a hole like that.
“We will have to terminate many of the vacant, frozen positions as people costs make up about 65% of our budget. Also, we will have to cut back on filled positions by roughly 10%.
“When we talk about our coworkers—people whose skills, enthusiasm, and talents contribute to making NPR what it is today—we are talking about filled positions. This will be a significant loss.
The cuts won’t “disproportionately harm individuals of color or any other historically disenfranchised group,” according to Lansing’s memo.
The nonprofit NPR will make its final conclusions over whose positions will be eliminated public by the week of March 20.
The announcement comes in the wake of numerous layoffs in the American media and IT sectors. Numerous large corporations, including CNN, BuzzFeed, and Gannett, have let go of hundreds of employees in recent months. Tech behemoths including Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta have announced layoffs affecting tens of thousands of workers in Silicon Valley.
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