National Public radio will lay off at least 100 people, about 10% of its workforce. The exact positions and layoff count will be determined by March 20.
The announcement comes on NPR’s news website. CEO John Lansing cited a persistent slowdown in the advertising market. “We’re not seeing signs of a recovery in the advertising market,” he said. The NPR announcement specially noted that the erosion of ad dollars affects NPR podcasts particularly.
NPR’s annual budget is cited to be $300M, and the financial shortfall is “likely to fall short” by $30M.
Lansing was straightforward about the news, regretful without being apologetic. “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,” he wrote in a staff memo. “This will be a major loss.”
“We’re not seeing signs of a recovery in the advertising market,” he said.
NPR’s programming division has more than doubled since 2019, and the network is one of the most productive and successful podcast producers in the world. Lansing promised that despite the resource reduction he remains committed to podcasting “1,000 percent.”
“NPR’s programming division has more than doubled since 2019” this is a refrain we’re hearing in so many ad-financed services. Most of the tech layoffs of recent times were blamed on over-hiring and lower than expected ad revenue.
I wonder how much of this was re-adapting businesses for life during COVID and now how things are changing once again (not going back to pre-COVID but changing nonetheless)?
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