Nine newsroom staffers laid off at Minnesota Public Radio


Nine staffers at Minnesota Public Radio have been laid off as part of a newsroom reorganization that has slashed its headcount by 13 percent.

The Pioneer Press reports that nine journalists, including editors, reporters, producers and photographers have lost their jobs, with two vacant positions eliminated.

The company said it's part of its plan to focus on "our investigative and enterprise reporting efforts" and expanding its on-demand services.

"The changes...are part of a series of decisions to reallocate our human and financial resources within the organization," American Public Media spokeswoman Angie Andresen told the Star Tribune.

"While some of these changes are difficult, we believe the steps we are taking will ensure that MPR News remains a relevant, vital and trusted source of news and information for the people we serve," she added.

The identities of the laid off staff members have not been confirmed, but a series of tweets by MPR Newscut blogger Bob Collins Thursday night suggest that they are:

Newscaster Beth Kidd; higher ed reporter Alex Friedrich; politics reporter Catharine Richert; arts reporter Chris Roberts; producer Emily Kaiser; photographers Jeffrey Thompson and Jennifer Simonson; reporter/producer Nikki Tundel; and editor/reporter David Cazares. (List compiled by the Business Journal).

MinnPost notes that Chris Worthington, the current VP for News, is shifting to a management role overseeing a new investigative unit at MPR, with the station launching a "nationwide" search for his replacement.

The announcement followed a memo sent earlier this month by St. Paul-based American Public Media telling its news team that job cuts were being considered, a copy of which was obtained by the Star Tribune.

The memo from APM CEO John McTaggart said: "We cannot succeed with 'business as usual.'"

A copy of the memo announcing job cuts on Thursday has been published on The Daily Agenda Facebook page

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