Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Twin Cities Radio: Budget Squeeze Forces 14 OUT At MPR

Facing an unprecedented budget squeeze caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota Public Radio and its parent company American Public Media have confirmed that more than a dozen of its staff have accepted voluntary buyouts, Bring Me The News reports.

MPR and APM said in a statement to Bring Me The News that it has had 14 employees apply for buyouts as part of its Voluntary Employee Separation and Furlough Program.

It comes as the radio station/news service and its parent company is facing "the biggest financial test we've ever faced," per an MPR spokesperson.

The buyouts were offered as part of an ongoing effort to "adjust our expenses to our new revenue realities," which has also included reducing executive pay.

Those who applied for the buyouts will leave between late May and early June.

Furthermore, "about the same" number of MPR and APM staff applied for the organization's furlough program, with plans for how these furloughs will be rolled out the subject of discussion with each who applied.

BMTN can confirm that MPR News' interim director Laura McCallum is among those who have taken a buyout, news of which was first reported on Friday by former employee Bob Collins.

Another who has announced they're leaving is MPR/APM producer Kate Moos, who will leave on May 29 and this summer will join the Minneapolis-based Sahan Journal, a news service covering the Twin Cities' immigrant communities.

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