(The Hill) – NPR is canceling four of its podcasts as it lays off 10 percent of its staff members and tries to close a budget shortfall.
The cuts will mean the end of the seasonal podcasts “Invisibilia,” “Louder Than a Riot” and “Rough Translation” and the comedy podcast “Everyone & Their Mom.” The number of employees being laid off is the largest for the company since the Great Recession in 2008.
John Lansing, the chief executive of NPR, told the outlet in an interview that the decisions to cut the podcasts and lay off the workers are “existential” to NPR’s ability to continue operating.
“We literally are fighting to secure the future of NPR at this very moment by restructuring our cost structure. It’s that important,” he said.
NPR’s budget deficit is more than $30 million, according to the outlet.
“Louder Than a Riot” had just begun its second season and was being widely promoted on social media before the podcast announced the decision on Twitter. The podcast’s account posted that NPR wants the staff of the podcast to stay on in their jobs until the season ends in June.
NPR reported that most of the staff being affected will stay in their roles until April 28.
Lansing told NPR that the company wanted to protect its main mission of performing a public service with its journalism.
He said the layoffs are not affecting National Public Media, which runs ad services, as it was already downsized earlier this year.
Lansing said the company is also combining the newsroom with its programming division, which produces most of its podcasts.
About 100 people are being laid off and dozens of vacant positions are being eliminated, NPR reported.
Several other major news outlets like CNN and The Washington Post have conducted layoffs in recent months.