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NPR to Cut Staff by 10 Percent to Cover $6M Deficit, Appoints Paul Haaga CEO

NPR hopes to make ends meet through voluntary buyouts

NPR is cutting about 10 percent of its workforce through voluntary buyouts to cover a more than $6 million deficit, according to the organization, which also said Friday that it has appointed Paul G. Haaga Jr. as acting president and CEO to replace the outgoing Gary Knell.

Haaga has served on the NPR board since 2011, and said in a statement that it was “one of the most rewarding and exciting phases of my career.”

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead one of the world’s leading providers of news, music and cultural programming on an interim basis and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and senior leadership team to help this great organization build on its success,” he added.

Also read: NPR President and CEO Gary E. Knell Stepping Down

Haaga takes over for Knell, who’s departing for National Geographic Society. NPR’s search committee will be co-chaired by board members Florence Rogers and John Wotowicz.

Whoever gets the job will have some hard times ahead; NPR also announced its budget for 2014, which included expenses of $183 million and revenue of just $178.1 million. The organization admitted to an operating cash deficit of $6.1 million, which it hopes to eliminate through voluntary staff buyouts.

Also read: KPCC Fights Identity Crisis as It Tries to Reinvent Itself for Digital Age

The staff will be reduced by about 10 percent. A spokesperson for NPR declined to state how many people the cuts would effect, saying it would depend “on a number of factors/variables.”

Haaga begins on September 30.