New York Public Radio Lays Off 12% of Staff Following ‘Free Fall in Advertising’

New York Public Radio layoffs
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New York Public Radio layoffs
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Photo Credit: New York Public Radio

New York Public Radio is laying off 12% of its workforce following a “free fall in advertising.”

New York Public Radio is planning to cut 12% of its employees after what the company’s president and CEO LaFontaine Oliver referred to as a “free fall in the advertising market,” according to The New York Times. The move followers a sweep of broader layoffs at parent network NPR, affecting 10% of staff — the largest swath of job-cutting at the organization since 2008.

“Knowing macroeconomic factors have led to this moment doesn’t soften the blow when national trends land on your own doorstep,” Oliver told the Times, noting that “this news is hard to hear.”

NYPR employs around 340 people, and the layoffs will displace about 40 of them, with the company saying it would attempt to protect its journalism and music offerings. The broadcaster produces the popular podcasts “Radiolab” and “The New Yorker Radio Hour,” and owns radio stations WNYC, WQXR, and the NYC-focused website Gothamist. Those affected will be notified this week.

New York Public Radio Union — the group representing NYPR’s SAG/AFTRA employees — has started a Twitter campaign promoting a petition and requesting donations.

“The NYPR union is still fighting to save the jobs of as many valued colleagues as possible,” the group tweeted last week. “Layoffs are not the only — or smartest — way to handle financial shortfalls.”

The City, another nonprofit New York-based news outlet, made a recent deal with its employees to reduce their hours by 20% to avoid layoffs following a $1.5 million decrease in funding this year. That reduction in hours enables employees to apply for financial aid from the state.

NPR performed some serious housekeeping in August and unified its news and programming divisions, while also announcing that SVP Anya Grundmann would leave the network following her eight-year run as a leader in podcast development. CEO John Lansing will also retire from his position at the end of the year.