Kansas City NPR Affiliate KCUR Moves Toward Unionization


Another public radio station’s staff is in favor of unionizing, this time in Kansas City at KCUR. The NPR affiliate is operated by the University of Missouri. Unionization would include station partners Classical KC, Harvest Public Media, Kansas News Service, and the Midwest Newsroom.

Seventy percent of KCUR are in favor of joining the Communications Workers of America, which represents reporters, producers, newscasters, and on-air hosts. Should the unionization proceed, KCUR would become the second public radio station under the University of Missouri System to unionize.

An open letter accompanying the announcement underscores the employees’ commitment to maintaining KCUR’s legacy of integrity and their desire to play a significant role in the organization’s future. The letter was supported by 26 staff members who are in favor of the initiative.

KCUR General Manager Sarah Morris acknowledged the unionization effort in an email to staff and University spokesperson Christian Basi told The Kansas City Star, “As we do with all union requests, we will expect them to follow the procedures outlined by Missouri state law. We have appreciated their transparent approach, and we know that while they pursue this, KCUR will remain focused on its mission to serve the community and region with trusted journalism and entertainment.”

Just within March, journalists and content creators at two other public radio groups, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Indiana’s WFYI, have voted to unionize under SAG-AFTRA along with iHeartMedia Philadelphia’s Power 99 FM (WUSL).


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