This — Deficits, Layoffs, Sadness — is NPR

One of America’s premiere cultural products is downsizing. Again.

NPR announced Tuesday that it would cease broadcast of the weekday program Tell Me More on Aug. 1 and eliminate 28 positions as part of a larger effort to end the company’s persistent budget deficits. … The earlier buyouts led to the departure of dozens of people throughout the company. Eight of the 28 positions being eliminated are already vacant, Senior Vice President for News Margaret Low Smith told staffers.

Ultimately, NPR’s total head count will be 7 percent lower than where it stood last year — there will be 9 percent fewer newsgathering positions. NPR has run deficits in all but one of the past six fiscal years, including the one ending Sept. 30.

NPR’s finances are fascinating and complex, and if you’re interested there is lots of read on the subject. More relevant to the specific news of today, though, is that programs specifically targeted for minorities are suffering: “Tell Me More‘s demise is the third for programs expressly designed to have a primary appeal for African-American listeners and other people of color.” Are those shows markedly less profitable and popular, or does radio function like horror movies and kill off the black characters first?

An Interview With a Person Who Makes a Living Doing Seasonal Work

My friend Emily and I first met while preparing to study abroad in Barcelona in 2003. Some of the first things I learned about her were that she loved ice hockey and sailing. After we graduated, Emily took a summer job as the seasonal program director of a yacht club. She took it again the following year, and the year after that.