NPR to cut 10% of its staff after 'sharp decline' in revenues for the public radio network, CEO says

ByJon Passantino
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
US economy grew at the end of 2022
The GDP grew 2.9% during the last three months of 2022, showing the economy is still growing despite high inflation and rising interest rates.

National Public Radio will lay off 10% of its staff after projecting a $30 million budget shortfall, NPR's chief executive John Lansing wrote in a memo to staff Wednesday. It becomes just the latest media outlet to make painful cuts as a dramatic slowdown in the advertising market continues to send shockwaves through the industry.

"When we say we are eliminating filled positions, we are talking about our colleagues - people whose skills, spirit, and talents help make NPR what it is today," Lansing wrote in the memo obtained by CNN. "This will be a major loss."

NOTE: The video in the media player is from a previous report.

The layoffs at the public broadcaster, home to the popular news programs "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered," will result in at least 100 positions being eliminated, an NPR spokesperson told CNN.

In his memo, Lansing said the network was grappling with a "sharp decline" in revenues from its corporate sponsors as a result of the uncertain economy. The organization, he said, had already cut $14 million in expenses, including freezing a majority of its vacant job postings, suspending paid internships, and restricting non-essential travel.

"With approximately 65% of our budget supporting personnel costs, we will need to eliminate many of the vacant positions that have been frozen. We will also need to reduce filled positions by approximately 10%," he said.

Lansing said he hoped to have final decisions about which positions would be eliminated around March 20.

In recent months, the media and technology sectors have taken a battering as advertisers tighten spending amid economic uncertainty.

Across the news industry, layoffs have been rampant. CNN, NBC News, MSNBC, Vox Media, Gannett and other news organizations have cut their workforces in recent months. And companies that haven't laid off staffers have taken strong measures to reduce spending.

Layoffs have also spread across Silicon Valley with technology companies making significant cuts. Earlier this month, Yahoo announced that it would slash 20% of its total workforce. Spotify, Google, Meta, Amazon, and Microsoft have also announced layoffs affecting thousands of employees.

Entertainment giants, such as Warner Bros. Discovery (CNN's parent company) and Paramount Global, have also trimmed their workforces.

-- CNN's Oliver Darcy contributed to this report.

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