NPR Suffers a 'Major Loss'


A train carrying toxic chemicals derails in Ohio, and it’s not big a deal according to the federal government and the mainstream media. But NPR announces the layoff of 100 people, and it is a “major loss.” Um… okay.


National Public Radio will reduce its workforce by 10%, which means the termination of around 100 people. Positions that are currently vacant will be eliminated. The outlet reported that CEO John Lansing is attributing the move to a lack of advertising dollars, specifically in terms of its podcasts. NPR has an annual budget of $300 million and its revenues could be short $30 million to $32 million.

In a memo to NPR staffers, Lansing wrote, “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. This will be a major loss.” There is no word yet on what jobs will be cut, but Lansing said reductions will not be across the board and that NPR will make sure that the cuts do not disproportionately fall on “employees of color.”

While the podcast arm of NPR can utilize advertising revenue, the radio side still relies on corporate underwriting and donations. Those have seen a decrease, and underwriting funds have fallen short of expectations. Of course, NPR is not alone; big entertainment outlets, including Vice and Disney have announced cuts, as have the tech giants. And given the fact that those cuts have been on a much more massive scale, 100 people sounds like a drop in the bucket by comparison. Unless, of course, you’re one of those handing in his or her corporate badge.

Believe it or not, I actually feel for those who are getting the axe. Success in media is difficult for the majority of the people in the business, no matter how hard they work. I was in radio for 20+ years, and you do it because you love it—which is not always the best reason to take a job. And not everyone in the industry goes on to CNN or late-night TV. I even applied for several jobs at NPR stations. This was back in the ’90s, and even then, I didn’t make the cut to join the elite ranks there.


Related: NPR Promotes Pornography for Kids

I used to be a fan of the closest affiliate. I appreciated the long-form reporting and in-depth stories. The Utah NPR station I listened to also played a great deal of cutting-edge music by lesser-known artists. In the past, I even made purchases from the Wireless and Signals catalogs that carried quirky merchandise for the intellectual and cultural elite or those who wish they were. Part of the profits went to PBS and NPR.

At the same time, people and companies do not have the money to toss around the way they once did. While this may be the main factor for the corporate underwriters, I suspect that individuals have drifted away from NPR because of content, although they might not admit it. NPR used to provide an alternative to regular media outlets. Now, the woke, condescending, elitist scolding that it offers can be heard in any elementary, high school, or college classroom, your local library, or the Wednesday morning staff huddle — or, for that matter, at a White House press briefing or TV show, news-related or not. You can get yelled at and shamed anywhere now, practically for free. Why pay for the privilege? Oops, sorry, that was an incorrect use of the word “privilege,” wasn’t it? I apologize.

Actually, I’m not gloating. But if asked, I would say, “I told you so.” Since the current administration took office, people have been forced to make tough choices and find ways to cut back. The fact that the problem is spreading is just a natural effect of the nation’s leadership. I feel bad for the employees who are tentatively checking out the job websites or worried about making ends meet. But as for NPR? It is reaping what it has been sowing for years.


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