If you've followed this site for any amount of time, you'll know that I've been an occasional contributor to NPR's "News & Notes". It's been a minute since I've appeared on-air. I was supposed to go around election time, but the arrival of our second child caused me to postpone. The next go-round was scheduled for early January, and I was already getting my pre-canned zingers together.
I won't be needing my pre-canned zingers anymore.
Faced with a sharp decline in revenue, National Public Radio said Wednesday it will pare back its programming and institute its first organization-wide layoffs in 25 years.Well, so much for my Five Year-Plan For Media Domination. NPR was the start of what would have been a gradual, yet steady rise from this blog, to radio, to print media, and finally somewhere on television. Since the effort has stalled (for now), I'm gonna have to keep my Day Job. Ya'll can help me by supporting my sponsors
Washington-based NPR said it would lay off about 7 percent of its workforce and eliminate two daily programs produced out of its facilities in Culver City, Calif. The shows are "Day to Day," which was aimed at younger listeners, and the newsmaker-interview program "News & Notes," which NPR hoped would attract African Americans.
Some of those losing their jobs are veteran NPR voices, such as Ketzel Levine, an NPR reporter since 1977, and Vicky O'Hara, an editor and former diplomatic correspondent with 26 years on the job. Others include "News & Notes" host Farai Chideya, "Day to Day" host Madeleine Brand, Washington reporter Libby Lewis, entertainment-industry correspondent Kim Masters and national reporter John McChesney. About half the 64 people cut are journalists.
Combined with the elimination of "Day to Day" and "News & Notes," the cutbacks constitute a retreat from NPR's efforts to reach new listeners, especially young people and members of minority groups who are not part of NPR's "core" audience.
They probably have bigger issues to worry about right now, but I want to thank the staff of "News and Notes" for taking a flyer on me a year or so ago. Doing the show was always big fun. I met some other cool bloggers and always ran into some famous people while in the downtown DC studio. The producers (thanks Dev) went out of their way to accommodate me, even allowing me to not use my full gov't name on air. And Farai Chideya is a class act and Grade-A journalist who will certainly land in bigger, better, and hopefully more stable places in the future.
Best wishes, Farai. It's been real.
Listen To AB's Appearances On NPR "News & Notes" [Search NPR Archives]
NPR to Cut 64 Jobs and Two Shows [WashPost]