Budget squeeze at Minnesota Public Radio sees 14 take voluntary buyouts

Its parent company says it's facing the 'biggest financial test we've ever faced.'
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Facing an unprecedented budget squeeze caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesota Public Radio and its parent company American Public Media have confirmed that more than a dozen of its staff have accepted voluntary buyouts.

MPR and APM said in a statement to Bring Me The News that it has had 14 employees apply for buyouts as part of its Voluntary Employee Separation and Furlough Program.

It comes as the radio station/news service and its parent company is facing "the biggest financial test we've ever faced," per an MPR spokesperson.

The buyouts were offered as part of an ongoing effort to "adjust our expenses to our new revenue realities," which has also included reducing executive pay.

Those who applied for the buyouts will leave between late May and early June.

Furthermore, "about the same" number of MPR and APM staff applied for the organization's furlough program, with plans for how these furloughs will be rolled out the subject of discussion with each who applied.

BMTN can confirm that MPR News' interim director Laura McCallum is among those who have taken a buyout, news of which was first reported on Friday by former employee Bob Collins.

McCallum confirmed this shortly after BMTN's story went live, tweeting: "I have decided to leave MPR News at the end of the month, mindful of the challenging financial picture ahead, and through the company's voluntary separation program. After nearly 27 years in various roles, it's time for a change!"

Another who has announced they're leaving is MPR/APM producer Kate Moos, who will leave on May 29 and this summer will join the Minneapolis-based Sahan Journal, a news service covering the Twin Cities' immigrant communities.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

"We are currently facing the biggest financial test we’ve ever faced. As we evaluate a wide range of changes to cut expenses, we’re taking great care with any changes to our programming and with decisions that affect the lives and livelihoods of our dedicated employees," said Angie Andresen, managing director of communications at MPR.

"To say we’re grateful to these colleagues for all they’ve done for MPR and their commitment to our ongoing public service is an understatement.

"It’s always difficult to say goodbye to colleagues, and especially so when we can’t do it in person. We will miss each one of these talented people.

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.

classroom

Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.

purse

Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.

Related

Minnesota Public Radio MPR

Why is the Chinese government demanding information from MPR?

The demand came from China's foreign ministry on Monday.

Minnesota Public Radio MPR

Staff at MPR, The Current officially vote to unionize

The new union will incorporate creative staff at The Current and Classical MPR.

Minnesota Public Radio MPR

MPR announces 28 job cuts, end of 'Live From Here'

The broadcaster and news service is under major budget pressure.

Minnesota Public Radio MPR

The Current announces raft of changes to its Sunday schedule

It's partly the result of cuts made by Minnesota Public Radio in recent weeks.

Minnesota public radio

American Public Media CEO Jon McTaggart to step down

It comes on the same day that MPR and APM employees called for immediate changes within the organizations.

Minnesota public radio

MPR 'blindsided' by Marianne Combs' resignation

The news organization said her story did not meet its journalistic standards.