WBUR Announced Layoffs and Changes to Podcasts

WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, posted “An Important Message About WBUR From CEO Margaret Low”. The message includes information about layoffs and changes to their podcasts.

…To begin, we are laying off 29 people. Many of them are part time staff. This means valued colleagues are losing their jobs at a very challenging time and will be leaving WBUR over the next days, weeks, and months. We’ve already been in touch with everyone who is immediately affected by the changes.

While I’m confident that WBUR has a bright future, this is a hard moment – because longtime coworkers and friends will be departing…

The message also points out there will be no wage increases for FY21, except for negotiated union salary adjustments. There will be no contributions to retirement funds. They have developed a reduced budget for the next fiscal year. The WBUR Board approved a FY20 budget of just under $46 million. For FY21, the Board approved a budget of just over $40 million.

CEO Margaret Low will be taking a 10% salary cut. WBUR had to eliminate seven unfilled positions, cut travel and marketing costs and canceled various contracted services.

Only a Game podcast will stop production at the end of September of 2020.

Modern Love will be taken over by The New York Times at the end of June of 2020. Personally, I hope that The New York Times won’t hide this wonderful, story-driven podcast behind a paywall.

Kind World which was described in the message from Margaret Low as a podcast “which blossomed from a digital experiment back in 2012 into an award winning Morning Edition feature and podcast”, will end its run in July of 2020.