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.

WBUR is Seeking a Senior Podcast Producer

WBUR- FM is a public radio station located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is owned by Boston University. WBUR is the largest of three NPR member stations in Boston. WBUR is seeking a Senior Podcast Producer.

The Senior Podcast Producer will produce and oversee a podcast for WBUR. This will include reporting and producing stories, creating an editorial vision for the podcast, researching ideas for the podcast, and writing and editing podcast content.

The Senior Producer will be responsible for overseeing the development of the podcast as well as the distribution and marketing of the podcast. The candidate will work closely with the podcast reporter and guests, and will liaise as appropriate with WBUR departments such as Community Engagement in order to produce events centered around the podcast.

This job requires a Bachelor’s degree. Master’s degrees preferred with at least five to eight years of related experience. The position is listed as Full-Time/Regular, and the location is Boston, Massachusetts.

Visit the WBUR website for more information and to apply with a resume or CV.

Last Seen is a Podcast About an Art Heist

Last Seen is a podcast from WBUR and The Boston Globe. It is a true crime podcast about the most valuable – and confounding – art heist in history: the theft of 13 irreplaceable artworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

WBUR and The Boston Globe have joined forces to ask why, 28 years later, this still unsolved crime exerts its irresistible pull. With a $10 million reward on offer, how is it that not even a single piece in a haul estimated to be worth half a billion dollars has surfaced? Gone in 81 minutes, the Gardner loot – and the thieves who made off with it – remain at large.

Last Seen has first-ever interviews, unprecedented access, and over a year of investigative reporting. This podcast takes you inside the ongoing efforts to bring back the jewels of the Gardner collection.

There have been several true-crime podcasts, some of which have become extremely popular. Last Seen is the first I have heard of that focuses on an art heist. I think this podcast will attract the attention of those who enjoy true-crime podcasts and also those who are interested in art history.

Isabella Stewart Gardner was born in New York City on April 14, 1840. In 1860, at the age of twenty, she married Jack Gardner. They moved to Boston and settled into a house that was a wedding gift from Isabella’s father. Isabella and Jack visited Venice, and this inspired Isabella to create an art museum in Boston.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has some information about the theft of the paintings. It took place on March 18, 1990. The thieves took 13 pieces of art including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet, and Degas. It only took them 81 minutes. You can view images of the stolen works of art on the museum website.