KCRW Cutting Staffers Amid Budget Crunch—’Greater LA’ Canceled

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Photo Credit: KCRW

Santa Monica public radio station KCRW is in a budget crunch, parting ways with a dozen staffers and ending the popular podcast ‘Greater LA.’

Host Steve Chiotakis took to Twitter (X) to announce the final episode of the show he helped create will air on Thursday, citing “management ending it after nearly five years.” Chiotakis thanked his fans, saying “I am so grateful for the time we had, the wonderful people who helped put it together, and all the ears that listened. Thank you for everything!”

The Los Angeles Times reports that Chiotakis’ departure comes amid voluntary departures as KCRW tightens its budget strings—ousting several popular broadcasters in the process. Anthony Valadez and Janaya Williams are two who will exit. The report also suggests more than a dozen staffers have accepted buyout packages offered by the station.

The Times says the end of ‘Greater LA’ was discussed Wednesday morning in a staff memo sent by KCRW Chief Content Officer Arnie Seipel. Seipel says despite covering stories that impact Angelenos locally, the show has struggled to find a “sustainable audience on broadcast or digital platforms.” The work will still be available digitally and for now, ‘Great LA’ is the only program on KCRW that has received the ax.

“These changes are hard, but also the best way to ensure KCRW can continue delivering on our mission in an increasingly competitive media environment,” KCRW management said in a statement made to the Times. “We are grateful to everyone who chose the opportunity to pursue a different path, and we are excited about the future of this great station.”

KCRW has an annual operating budget of around $23 million, relying on member contributions, sponsorships, and studio bookings to promote their projects. After a budget defict ballooned to $3 million in December 2023, staff were offered buyouts. KCRW says it suffered from a pullback in film studio advertising during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which lasted from May 2023 to November 2023.