Five years ago, National Public Radio got a donation of more than $200 million from McDonald's fortune widow Joan Kroc. So you'd think they'd be set for a while, money-wise. But the economy sucks and it's a safe bet that individual donations to public radio are plummeting. We heard rumors of layoffs this morning, and now it appears that they're true [UPDATE: it's official], and at least two shows are dying:
Tipsters have told us that NPR West, the huge production center in LA, may be "completely shuttering." That's not confirmed, but at least two shows are being shut down. Current.org reports that Day to Day and News and Notes are being canceled, with dozens of layoffs:
An NPR West staffer says word inside the building is that more than 60 people will lose their jobs. It is unclear whether the production center, established in late 2002 in a major expansion of NPR’s news operations, will remain open.
LAObserved says Day to Day will probably last a few more months, to allow stations time to rearrange their schedules.
$200 million gifts are now not sufficient to save your dream job. Any staffers who want to share their stories, email us.
UPDATE: NPR just sent out a press release saying it is indeed canceling those two shows (they'll end in March) and cutting its total workforce by 7%, thanks to a projected deficit next year of $23 million:
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 eliminated 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.