WNYC Parent to Cut 12% of Work Force

New York Public Radio, the parent organization of the WNYC news station, said on Tuesday it was planning to cut its work force by about 12 percent.

LaFontaine Oliver, New York Public Radio’s president and chief executive, said in a memo to employees that a “free-fall in the advertising market” led to the decision to cut staff.

“I know this news is hard to hear, and knowing macroeconomic factors have led to this moment doesn’t soften the blow when national trends land on your own doorstep,” Mr. Oliver said.

New York Public Radio, a nonprofit, operates WNYC, the classical music station WQXR, and the Gothamist local news site. It has about 340 full-time and part-time employees. Staff members affected by the job cuts will be notified next week; Mr. Oliver didn’t say in his memo which areas of the organization would be hardest hit, but said that the organization would preserve its journalism and music efforts. New York Public Radio is also planning to eliminate a majority of open positions, Mr. Oliver said in his memo.

Many public radio stations have had to adjust to changes in how audiences listen to their programming, with many people shifting to newer platforms, such as Spotify. The Covid-19 pandemic sped up some of those changes, as fewer people commuted to work, a segment that had long been a staple of traditional listenership.

New York Public Radio is among the vanguard of public radio stations that have sought to embrace changing listener behaviors. Its WNYC Studios arm produces “Radiolab,” a popular podcast that explores themes of curiosity and the natural world, and “The New Yorker Radio Hour,” a podcast version of the magazine.

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