NPR Lays Off 7% of Staff, Cuts 2 Shows

Corporate underwriting took big hit in recession
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 10, 2008 6:10 PM CST
Host of NPR's "All Things Considered" Michele Norris on "Meet the Press." The radio company will lay off 64 people and ax two shows to make up for budget shortfalls.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – NPR will take two shows off the air and lay off 64 employees—7% of its workforce—to close an unexpected $23 million budget shortfall. Shows getting the ax are "Day to Day" and "News and Notes," both of which sought to diversify NPR's audience. The layoffs are the first organization-wide job cuts in 25 years, the Washington Post reports.

All funding sources have taken a hit, particularly corporate underwriting. And because of declining investment values, NPR won't receive any income this year from a $230 million endowment it received in 2003 from Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc. The Post sees the cutbacks as a retreat from NPR's attempts to lure younger listeners and minorities.