NPR Grapples With Financial Woes
May 17, 2012 at 6:58 AM (PT)
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO has seen a sharp drop in underwriting revenue, according to a report by the WASHINGTON POST's PAUL FARHI in a piece about the challenges faced by new NPR CEO GARY KNELL.
KNELL, in an interview WEDNESDAY (5/16), told FARHI that the network has operated at a deficit in three of the past four years and has had to take money from its endowment to cover expenses, racking up a $2.6 million deficit above the endowment. The financial concerns have been accompanied by falling listenership, according to NPR internal data released by the PROJECT FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM.
Spokesperson DANA DAVIS REHM said that it is "likely" that NPR will finish its fiscal year in the red, but KNELL, in a talk with employees, said that cutting staff or programs is "the last thing I want to do." However, he also told FARHI, "NPR has been withdrawing from the bank and we can't keep doing that. We have to be at break-even or be in a positive position on an annual basis, or I can tell you at some point we're going to have to turn the lights off."