NPR to Reduce Staff by 7%

Despite the fact that National Public Radio has reached near-record audience levels on-air and online — with 26.4 million people listening to its programs each week and 8 million people visiting each month — due to the uncertain economy and a sharp decline in current and projected revenues from corporate underwriting, NPR announced today that it will reduce its workforce by 7 percent and will reduce expenses.

Staff and expense reductions will be made in reporting, editorial and production areas; station services; digital media; research; communications and administrative support. A total of 64 filled positions have been cut against NPR’s current staff of 889, 21 open positions will not be filled and travel and discretionary expenses have been cut across the organization.

NPR says a “significant number” of the personnel cuts will stem from the upcoming cancellation of two NPR produced programs; “Day to Day” and “News & Notes.” Both programs will remain on the air through March 20, 2009.

In July, NPR projected a relatively manageable $2 million deficit for fiscal year 2009.