National Public Radio just laid off almost 100 people, citing a drop in ad revenue.
The company held a meeting this week to hear feedback and it turned into a struggle session with employees suggesting the layoffs were motivated by racism and transphobia.
Who knew that NPR was such a hotbed of bigotry?
Here are some highlights of the meeting via Bloomberg News:
Tensions Flare Inside NPR After Staff Layoffs and Town Halls
Last week, NPR laid off 84 people and stopped production on four seasonal podcasts, including Invisibilia, Louder Than a Riot and Rough Translation. The company warned in February those cuts would be coming after it projected a $30 million sponsorship shortfall this year…
While layoffs often mark the abrupt end of an era at an organization, NPR’s story has stretched into this week, spilling over into multiple, tense all-hands meetings in which impacted employees grilled executives about their decisions…
A group of executives, including president and CEO John Lansing, presented various financial metrics and updates on the diversity levels at the organization following the layoffs. As of March 24th, for example, NPR had booked $28.9 million in sponsorship revenue for the first quarter, compared to $41 million the year prior. The team highlighted that diversity levels remained roughly consistent before and after the cuts, though trans people in the programming department dropped, going from 2.5% of the workforce to 1.2%….
Throughout the presentation, employees raised their hands on video or submitted questions through the webinar’s Q&A feature. They responded to the answers from executives in real time through the virtual chat, often adding more questions there, too.
Among the requests: employees wanted to see more specific breakdowns around the number or percentage of employees of different races and identities who were laid off, rather than those of the remaining employees. They also wanted to know more information about their audiences, what the plans would be for hiring a chief content officer and more clarity about how the layoffs were carried out.
But the already tense environment boiled over during an exchange between CEO Lansing and a laid-off Black employee. That employee voiced concern that some podcasts hadn’t received marketing support and wondered how a show could gain audience without it. This person also listed executives’ names and repeated statements they had made in the past, asking for more accountability.
It’s amazing that NPR has been able to stay afloat for as long as it has with a team like this.
“Some employees interpreted this as tone-policing and felt uncomfortable.”
I’m *shocked, shocked* that the people who came up with “tone-policing” aren’t capable of running a successful business. https://t.co/2fifcda3nb
— Gregg Keller (@RGreggKeller) March 31, 2023
NPR should be defunded. Let rich liberals in Hollywood support it, not taxpayers.
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