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NPR News Clamps Down on Costs

Projected to be $3 million over budget by the end of September.

The NPR News Division is cutting costs in the wake of weakening underwriting levels and election coverage that cost more than expected.

In an internal memo to staff, Ellen Weiss, vice president for news, states that in order to curtail expenses the division will limit discretionary travel and overtime and leave some positions unfilled. In the memo, posted on Washington news blog Media Bistro, Weiss says the division is over-budget by $742,000 — about 2% — and projected to be $3 million over budget by the end of September, so she’s trying to correct the situation now.

An “unexpectedly long and demanding election season that exceeded even our generous budget planning, additional security and travel costs in Iraq as well as the weak dollar overseas” all contributed to ballooning costs, according to Weiss.