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Staff, Budget Cuts Coming to NPR

Broadcaster has $6 million deficit

National Public Radio seeks to trim its staff by about 10% over the next year, using voluntary buyouts.

That’s because the broadcaster has an operating cash deficit of $6.1 million, or 3% of revenues. NPR revealed Friday its board approved a budget for fiscal 2014 that includes operating and investment revenues of $178.1 million, expenses of $183 million.

The broadcaster has some 840 people on its payroll. The Washington Post calls the planned cuts one of the largest staff reductions in NPR’s history. The last such move was in 2008, when NPR laid off 64 employees and eliminated two programs to save money.

The news of the cutbacks comes as NPR announced an interim replacement for outgoing chief executive Gary Knell. His two-year agreement is up this fall and Knell announced he’s leaving NPR in September to take a similar position at the National Geographic Society.

NPR tapped board member Paul Haaga Jr., a former attorney for the Securities & Exchange Commission and the retired chairman of the Investment Company Institute and of Capital Research and Management, to be the broadcaster’s acting president and CEO while the search for a permanent leader gets underway.

NPR has had high turnover at the top of the organization since longtime chief executive Kevin Klose stepped down in 2006. Since that time, it has had five permanent and interim chief executives.

NPR Names Paul G. Haaga Jr. Acting President and CEO