NPR announces buyout to reduce staff by 10 percent

Sept. 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- NPR announced a buyout plan to reduce its payroll by 10 percent to help close the gap of a $6 million projected deficit in the upcoming fiscal year.

The announcement came Friday despite the fact that the radio and digital news organization, which received 2 percent of its funding from the federal government, seemed to be on the upswing, The Washington Post reported.

NPR opened its new headquarters building in April near the U.S. Capitol. The building cost $201 million and includes an in-house restaurant with an executive chef, healthcare facilities, an employee gym and a gift shop, the Post said.

Audiences for the organization's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" have surpassed more than 26 million listeners each week, and a new bureau was added in Rio de Janeiro this year.

NPR had seemingly avoided the worst effects of the Great Recession and the digital revolution that has struck many other media organizations, The Post said.

"It's a challenging time for everyone in our profession," NPR host Scott Simon said. "I'm struck by the confidence that our leadership has that voluntary buyouts will bring [NPR's finances] back into line. I certainly hope so."

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