NPR Lays Off 100 Employees, Cancels Shows

(Dmytro “Henry” AleksandrovHeadline USANational Public Radio decided to cut four of its major podcasts and 10% of its workforce on Thursday — a major reduction not seen since 2008 — to save itself from collapsing.

The reason why NPR decided to do that is because of a drop in ad revenue from the podcasts “Invisibilia,” “Louder Than a Riot,” “Everyone and Their Mom” and “Rough Translation,” according to the Daily Signal.

“We literally are fighting to secure the future of NPR at this very moment by restructuring our cost structure. It’s that important. It’s existential,” NPR chief executive John Lansing said.

The layoffs will affect employees who produce shows and podcasts, design visual elements and conduct audience research. Lansing said that the layoffs are done to preserve NPR’s “core public service mission.”

“We’ve tried very hard to sustain the essential things that will keep us moving forward,” Anya Grundmann, NPR’s senior vice president of programming and audience development, stated.

“That includes our ability to be meaningful to audiences on digital and visual platforms, our radio audiences, our podcast audiences  our narrative journalism.”

“I think we lost some excellent projects that have made NPR stand out… And we’re losing some great people, who are incredibly talented and who have contributed so much to NPR and to public service,” Grundmann added.

NPR said that most of the laid-off staff will remain on the payroll until the end of April. For the targeted programs, the taxpayer-funded radio is “stopping production” instead of officially canceling the programs, which means that the podcasts may come back.

NPR had financial problems before that, too. In November, it tried to address these issues by cutting $20 million in expenses.

“Unlike the financial challenges we faced during the worst of the pandemic, we project increasing costs and no sign of a quick revenue rebound,” Lansing wrote last month in a staff memo. “We must make adjustments to what we control, and that is our spending.”