US & Canada

NPR to shed 10% of staff amid budget shortfall

National Public Radio headquarters in Washington, D.C. on 15 April 2013
Image caption NPR broadcasts news, current affairs, music, and more

US broadcast network National Public Radio plans to shed 10% of its staff in an effort to close a $6.1m (£3.8m) budget deficit, a spokeswoman has said.

It will offer voluntary redundancies to its roughly 840 employees.

The non-profit broadcaster put the budget shortfall in part down to a decline in corporate grants amid the slow US economy.

National Public Radio (NPR) reaches 27 million listeners a week through 975 member stations across the US.

The redundancies follow a series of shake-ups in the non-profit's leadership, and a 2008 reduction of about 8% of its staff.

NPR, based in Washington DC, receives about 2% of its annual budget from federal funds, with the rest from grants, licence fees from local affiliates, and listener donations.

Its revenue was projected to be $178m in the upcoming financial year.

Employees have until 11 October to take a redundancy offer, the details of which have not been made public.

The organisation has operated under a deficit since 2009, NPR spokeswoman Anna Bross told the BBC.

The broadcaster has also seen several high-profile firings and turnover in its leadership in recent years, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance payments.

The network is a favourite target of conservatives and Republicans, who see it as biased and an inappropriate recipient of taxpayer funds.

More on this story