Higher costs, lower giving prompts cuts at NPR
Well, it seems not only newspapers are feeling the financial pinch in this busy -- and for the media very expensive -- election year.
National Public Radio's vice president for news, Ellen Weiss, has sent out an internal memo revealing it is already 2% over budget, thanks to the unexpectedly longer election season, and would be $3 million in the red come the end of September without cuts.
So there will be some.
With the weak dollar and high costs for Iraq war coverage, Weiss has ordered managers to "place the bar slightly higher before we send staff or hosts into the field." This could curb travel for political coverage.
Open positions at NPR will not be filled. And overtime will be limited starting immediately.
The memo, which was obtained and posted online by MediaBistro.com, also blames "a serious slowdown in the sponsorship market (underwriting)."
Last week, the same website reported similar sponsorship problems over at PBS's "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," prompting frozen salaries, staffing reevaluations and suspended 401k contributions.