March 25, 2023


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NPR layoffs: Radio broadcaster to cut 10% of staff as ad revenue declines

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NPR will lay off 10% of its staff, or at least 100 employees, as the public radio broadcaster is pinched by declining advertising and sponsorship revenue, particularly for its lineup of podcasts.

A final decision on which jobs will be cut is expected to be made by March 20 in consultation with unions representing NPR employees, according to a memo sent to employees Wednesday by NPR CEO John Lansing. The nonprofit has an annual budget of about $300 million; In 2023, revenue is likely to be $30 million-$32 million lower, he said, according to an NPR report.

“At a time when we are undertaking some of our most ambitious and necessary work, the global economy remains uncertain. As a result, the advertising industry has weakened and we are grappling with a sharp decline in our income from corporate sponsors,” Lansing wrote in the memo, according to the New York Times.

Last year, NPR generated $134 million in ad revenue, but it has become clear for fiscal year 2023 that it will come in much less than that. Before reaching the layoff decision, the company had already put a freeze on hiring, eliminated nonessential travel, and suspended its internship programs.

As of spring 2022, NPR broadcasts across more than 1,000 member stations across the U.S. It says it has 48 million weekly listeners and readers across platforms including radio, smart speakers,, social media, live events, NPR apps and podcasts. .

NPR joins a wave of other media companies that have laid off in recent months, including The Washington Post, CNN, Vox Media, BuzzFeed and Bustle Digital Group (BDG), which has shut down Gawker as part of its cutbacks.

Image above: NPR headquarters in Washington, DC

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