NPR to Cut Workforce

Dennis Haarsager, interim president and chief executive of NPR, sent out a memo today saying the company is canceling two shows, News & Notes and Day to Day, and cutting 7 percent of its workforce. Many of the 64 filled and 21 unfilled jobs that are getting cut are linked to the two programs.

NPR now has a projected fiscal 2009 budget deficit of $23 million, up from the $2 million deficit predicted in July, according to the memo. It has been hurt by a decline in sponsorship. Some of its biggest givers: the financial, automotive and media industries, all of which are facing their own struggles right now.

According to the memo, NPR was authorized to get at as much as $15 million from its operating reserves to deal with its troubles. "We believe, but cannot guarantee, that our budget plan and the one-time infusion of funds from the reserves will allow us to weather economic declines over the rest of FY09 and into FY10," Haarsager said in the memo.

Haarsager ended the memo on a positive note: "NPR is losing revenue, not audience or relevance. To the contrary, our audience has continued to grow in the face of declining journalism investments elsewhere in the nation. We are encountering immediate budget challenges, yet we have just completed a year of near-record audience levels on-air, online, and on mobile platforms."

By Terri Rupar  |  December 10, 2008; 3:22 PM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Media
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Comments

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Using public funds to spew leftist political biased....epic fail.

Good riddance. Is it any wonder why leftist rags like the NY Times and the Washington comPost keep cutting staff and losing money? People are sick and tired of a bunch of liberals masquerading as objective news agencies...

This isn't the economy, Fox News, Mark Levin, Hannity, Reason Magazine and others are thriving...

Posted by: forget@menot.com | December 11, 2008 12:21 PM

The above commenter is a moron. NPR news is really good, and is typically impartial. The two shows being canceled are weak anyway.

Posted by: alexvalentine | December 11, 2008 12:53 PM

@ forget@menot.com: What is your definition of "Public Funds"? Do you mean government money? NPR get's at most about 2% of it's operating revenue from government grants (see http://www.npr.org/about/privatesupport.html ) Or do you mean the money that the Public chooses, on a person-by-person basis, to send as donations to fund the most impartial journalism on the planet?

As a friend of mine likes to say "Fox for the right, MSNBC for the left, and NPR for the truth."

Posted by: jodybrai | December 11, 2008 2:26 PM

Thanks jody - you beat me to the facts to point out to the first poster - and said it better than i would have.

Posted by: floridaman | December 11, 2008 2:32 PM

I adore NPR. They just report the news, we need to listen and make the call. Especially with the War and Bush's current ratings, if they were left they could be having a field day. The just interviewed Bill O'Reilly about his new book, and several rebublicans regarding the state and future ambitions of the party. Please listen to them before you make such an uneducated "statement". Politics aside, they have wonderful programming. I donate to support them.

Posted by: me11232 | December 11, 2008 2:43 PM

Regardless of how you feel about NPR, the facts are above: it's not NPR's audience that's declining, it's the support of corporate sponsors who are themselves facing tough financial conditions.

Posted by: sfwiley | December 11, 2008 4:19 PM

forget obviously doesn't listen to NPR. During the last election, I had progressive friends complaining that NPR was spewing right-wing propaganda, because the morning shows actually interviewed people on all sides of the political spectrum.

Posted by: bobkfoster | December 11, 2008 6:11 PM

@forget@menot.com

I feel like your comments needed more buzz words. In case you haven't heard, it is all print media that is failing, not just the Times or the Post. People are not getting tired of it, they are getting news and information in different ways. The NY Times isn't failing anyway, most of their business is just moving to the web, really it is the uncertainty of of the entire print business that is causing them to "fail". Even one of the longest, if not the longest, computer magazines I regularly read, PC Magazine, has now gone completely to the web. This is just what is happening to print media. I'm sure with a little research one could find a half dozen conservative news rags(to use your words) that are failing too, because they are all losing revenue for the same fundamental reason, not some half-assed propaganda far right conservatives use.

If you even had a slight grasp of the situation, the economics, the way these business made money, I'd hope you'd have something relevant to say, but I suppose you often troll the internet making ridiculous comments as you did here. It is clear that things like facts have no bearing on what you say, rather just a deep hatred for "those damn liberals".

Personally I don't listen to those shows anyway. I love NPR for shows like Car Talk and This American Life. Luckily everyone can enjoy those shows.

Posted by: meddlingBanter | December 11, 2008 6:23 PM

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