New York Public Radio's Layoffs Are Worse Than You Think
"Death, Sex And Money," "La Brega," and "More Perfect" Have Been Cut; Multiple Teams Impacted
Hey Squeeze Peeps —
Very brief newsletter, just to clarify something I’m seeing people talk about online.
As some of you already know, New York Public Radio laid off 20 staffers, or 6% of its workforce last week. If you followed the news, you might have read this WNYC/Gothamist story, in which an outside freelancer hired by the station to cover the story reported that in addition to reducing its staff, NYPR “cut podcasts More Perfect and La Brega as part of a broader cost-cutting effort.”
This narrative — 20 people and 2 seasonal shows — is nice and tidy but it doesn’t convey the full impact of the layoffs. Because according to my reporting, Death, Sex & Money, a juggernaut show that helped establish WNYC as a force within podcasting, was also cut (production ends in January), and many of WNYC’s other podcasts and teams were also impacted.
So in the spirit of transparency, here’s what I’m hearing about the layoffs:
Death, Sex & Money: four people laid off (show canceled, production ends in January);
More Perfect: six people laid off (show canceled);
Notes from America: one person laid off;
Radiolab: one person laid off;
New Yorker Radio Hour: two people laid off;
WNYC Studios “core staff”: four people laid off; this number includes staffers who work on multiple shows, including but not limited to La Brega;
The WNYC/Gothamist newsroom: one person laid off (exec assistant);
Marketing and Planned Giving/Development departments: one person laid off from each;
NYPR-owned classical music station WQXR: two people laid off.
These are wide and deep cuts that fan out across almost all shows in WNYC’s portfolio. And I can’t shake the feeling that taken together, they feel like more than the sum of their parts; that it’s possible that we’re witnessing the last days of WNYC Studios. What do you think? Am I being overly dramatic? Let me know in the comments!
I have a lot more to say about all of this, but also more reporting to do. If you have information or insights abut NYPR, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Signal 415-377-7591 (I do regular texts, too). And yes, I’m still technically on a break, but I can’t seem to quit this story, no matter what else is going on in my life!
More soon. In the meantime, take care of each other out there.