At the end of March, The Washington Post ran a piece in which some National Public Radio hosts and higher-ups discussed the idea of having NPR member stations raise funds on the mothership's behalf. Because, after all, NPR's struggling like every other media organization: In December, it axed two popular programs and laid off dozens. That story prompted this one today in The Wall Street Journal, which leads off: "Cutbacks and budget worries at National Public Radio Inc. are exacerbating tension between the Washington, D.C., organization and some of the member stations" -- specifically KCRW-FM in Los Angeles, whose general manager recently told Susan Stamberg to step off.
So, it made sense to call KERA-FM (90.1) management to see if there have in fact been any discussions with NPR concerning the shipping of pledge-drive funds to D.C. to help make bank. A little while ago, Unfair Park received this brief official statement courtesy the station's public relations manager, Meg Fullwood:
Despite what was reported in the Washington Post, KERA received the communication from NPR president Vivian Schiller saying NPR has "no plans whatsoever to launch a national giving campaign of behalf of NPR." That's all we know at this time.
Update: A Friend of Unfair Park points our attention to this announcement posted on KERA's Web site today: "KERA REALLOCATES STAFF RESOURCES." Four people were laid off today, says the release, which reads, in part:
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DALLAS/FORT WORTH - KERA announced today that the equivalent of four-and-one-half positions have been eliminated so that resources can be reallocated to other areas within the organization. The positions affected are in volunteer services, data management, education programs and television production.
"We regret that these layoffs were necessary," said Mary Anne Alhadeff, President & CEO, "but the station is on a course to increase news and public affairs reporting and advance online services consistent with the station's mission and the needs and interests of our audiences. This reallocation of resources allows the station to maintain its budget and have the resources available for content expansion."