NPR Lays Off 28 Staffers, Cancels ‘Tell Me More’ Amid Budget Struggles

Public radio organization aims to close $6 million budget deficit by reducing head count

Stephen Voss/NPR

National Public Radio is canceling weekday talk show “Tell Me More” and will eliminate 28 jobs as a result of ongoing efforts to close the organization’s budget deficits.

Also read: NPR’s Carl Kasell Retiring From ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!’

The program, hosted by Michel Martin, will end its seven-year run on August 1. Martin and the show’s executive editor, Carline Watson, will remain with NPR and focus on issues of race, gender, faith, and family that had been the core of “Tell Me More.”

“These times require that we organize ourselves in different ways and that we’re smarter about how we address the different platforms that we reach our audiences on,” NPR Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson said.

Also read: NPR Receives $17M in Grants to Expand Coverage, Create New Mobile and Web Platforms

“We’re trying to make the most of the resources that we have and ensure that we keep radio healthy and try to develop audience in the digital arena.”

The cuts are part of a directive from NPR’s board of directors to close the $6 million operating gap on the current fiscal budget. Including the “Tell Me More” layoffs, the head count at NPR will be seven percent lower than last year.

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

In September, NPR offered voluntary buyouts to employees in order to reduce its staff level by 10 percent and balance its budget by 2015.