NPR to Layoff 10% of Its Workforce: CEO John Lansing Comments

NPR, the public radio broadcaster, announced today that it will layoff 10% of its workforce, or at least 100 employees, due to the erosion of advertising dollars, particularly for its podcasts, and the tough financial outlook for the media industry more generally.[0]

In a memo to staff, CEO John Lansing wrote, “When we say we are eliminating filled positions, we are talking about our colleagues – people whose skills, spirit and talents help make NPR what it is today. This will be a major loss.”[1] He also noted that the final percentage of workforce reduction will depend on how many of the current open roles can be eliminated.[2]

Lansing said that NPR’s annual budget of about $300 million was expected to fall short by close to $30 million, and could reach $32 million.[3] To address the growing deficit, the organization had already put a hiring freeze in place and eliminated nonessential travel and internship programs.[4] However, these moves were not enough to prevent job cuts.[5]

In the interview with NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, Lansing said that the cuts will not be spread evenly throughout the organization, “because that’s just not management. Management is about committing to strategy, making tough decisions.”[6]

Lansing also noted that while podcasting is one area where NPR is seeing advertisers trim their budgets, he remains “1,000 percent” committed to the medium, along with benchmark programs such as “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”[7]

Layoffs have been widespread throughout the news industry.[8] In recent months, numerous news organizations such as CNN, NBC News, MSNBC, Vox Media, and Gannett have had to reduce their staff.[8] Companies that have not let go of their employees have taken drastic steps to decrease their expenditures.[8]

Lansing stated that, during a time in which our most ambitious and necessary tasks are being done, the global economy is still in an unstable state.[9] The advertising industry has suffered greatly, leading to a substantial drop in revenue from corporate sponsors.[5]

I have instructed the Executive Committee to progress with this idea as swiftly yet cautiously as they can, to give everyone the insight they are entitled to.[9] It is my goal to reach a conclusion regarding the job cuts by the week of March 20.[9]

0. “NPR To Lay Off 10% Of Staff – RadioInsight” RadioInsight, 22 Feb. 2023,

1. “NPR to cut 10% of workforce due to projected revenue drop” New York Daily News, 22 Feb. 2023,

2. “NPR to Cut Workforce by 10 Percent, as Advertising Slowdown Hits Public Media” Hollywood Reporter, 22 Feb. 2023,

3. “NPR To Cut Jobs By 10% As Ad Revenue Drops” All Access Music Group, 22 Feb. 2023,

4. “NPR to Cut 10% of Workforce as Ad Revenue Slumps” Variety, 23 Feb. 2023,

5. “NPR to cut 10% of its staff” The Spokesman Review, 23 Feb. 2023,

6. “NPR plans ‘major' layoffs due to ballooning deficit” Current, 22 Feb. 2023,

7. “Citing Advertising Erosion, NPR To Cut 10% Of Workforce.” Inside Radio, 23 Feb. 2023,

8. “NPR to cut 10 percent of its staff, CEO says” Toledo Blade, 22 Feb. 2023,

9. “NPR To Lay Off About 10% Of Current Staff As Financial Outlook Has “Darkened Considerably”” Deadline, 22 Feb. 2023,

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