NPR Lays Off Staff, Cuts Shows

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mojo-photo-nprlogosm.jpgIt turns out that the economic downturn has taken its toll even on the non-profit among us (gulp!) as National Public Radio announced today it would lay off 7 percent of its staff and cut two underperforming shows. “Day to Day,” a midday news program, got the axe, as did, perhaps more troublingly, “News and Notes,” NPR’s latest attempt to reach out to an African-American audience. Both shows were based at NPR’s new Culver City studios. So was this my fault for not giving money to both of our local public stations?

The shortfall was driven in large part by the erosion of corporate underwriting, [NPR interim president Dennis] Haarsager said. Earlier this year, budget planners counted on receiving $47 million from those corporate spots and online ads. Now, he said, the company projects that it will receive just $32 million in revenues for the current fiscal year.

Whew, I’m off the hook. But what happened to all that Big Mac money?

Interest payments from an endowment created from the bequest of the late Joan Kroc, which have typically paid out about $10 million a year to NPR, were wiped out by the sharp downturn in the financial markets. However, NPR’s board authorized the company to draw down $15 million from the company’s operating reserves, most of which also came from the Kroc gift.

Ouch. Can we get a public radio bailout? It looks like they need about $20 million, which is around .003% of $700 billion, just FYI.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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