The layoffs were deemed necessary by the nonprofit media outlet, which employs around 1,100 people, due to a downturn in advertising and a decline in corporate sponsorships. In order to close a $30 million budget shortfall, NPR will make 10% of its workforce redundant, the company’s CEO said on Wednesday.
The chief executive of the news organization, John Lansing, wrote to the employees in an email that the financial prognosis for the public radio network “has deteriorated dramatically over recent weeks.” In the email, which The New York Times was able to get, Mr. Lansing said that “the global economy remains uncertain at a time when we are executing some of our most ambitious and crucial work.”
NPR joins a long list of Media Companies
Because of this, the advertising business has suffered, and corporate sponsorship income has drastically decreased. According to Mr. Lansing, the budget deficit for this year has increased from an initial projection of $20 million to at least $30 million. He said that NPR, a charity with an estimated 1,100 employees, has already reduced expenditures by $14 million by closing jobs, capping unnecessary travel, and terminating internship programs.
Yet, he said that these actions are no longer sufficient to stop job cutbacks. At least 100 jobs will be cut in the round of layoffs, according to an NPR spokesman. In the message, Mr. Lansing said, “I appreciate that all of this is very distressing, and I know that this brings an unpleasant time of uncertainty.” “We will communicate with our unions and act as quickly as possible to offer clarity about the reductions required.”
He said that no historically disadvantaged groups, such as persons of color, would be disproportionately affected by the changes, and he planned to decide which positions will be terminated by the week of March 20. NPR joins a long list of media businesses that have recently reduced staff numbers due to dwindling advertising income and the prospect of an upcoming recession. Employees have been let off at The Washington Post, CNN, Vox Media, BDG, and Gannett.