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NPR Cuts 13 In Second Layoff Round; Imposes Unpaid Leave

This story was written by David Kaplan.
National Public Radio, hurting from the pullback from its corporate donors, is laying off 13 staffers, its second round since December, WaPo reported. The broadcaster is facing an $8 million budget deficit for its current fiscal year, and $15 million over the next two years. NPR has about 812 staffers, making this a 1.6 percent cut.

The jobs lost were in information technology, legal services and communications; the news division was spared from the layoffs. In addition to the drop in corporate funding, donations from foundations and its internal endowment has also taken a hit. As for the fees from stations, Vivian Schiler, NPR's president and CEO, told me that payments are holding steady. "Programming fees have not slowed," Schiller said. "It's possible that may happen but in the meantime, our rates remain the same and member stations are meeting their obligations."

As part of belt-tightening measures taken by a growing list of media companies lately, NPR is compelling staffers to take five days of unpaid leave over the next five months. On top of those furloughs, NPR employees will not receive holiday pay for Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day) this year. Employees also won't be paid for taking three more that occur in the next fiscal year, which for NPR, begins Oct. 1. In addition, NPR will suspend contributions to retirement accounts. It goes without saying that there will not be any merit raises this year at NPR either.

In December, NPR cut 64 staffers, its first layoff round in 25 years.

By David Kaplan

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