Layoffs Hit Louisville As Public Radio Cuts Continue Across The US


Louisville Public Media is the latest public radio outlet to resort to layoffs in the wake of a significant budget deficit. LPM has cut six full-time and two part-time employees and is eliminating two unfilled positions as it cuts back its entire finances by around 10%.

The reduction in force includes personnel in news, marketing, technical operations, and station-specific roles, significantly impacting LPM’s 63 full-time employees. The layoffs will affect WFPK Independent Louisville, WUOL Classical Louisville, WFPL News, and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

LPM faces a $755,000 shortfall in the operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, leading to the decision. LPM President Stephen George anticipates that these cuts will stabilize the station’s finances by the end of the fiscal year in June 2025. Laid-off staff will receive severance packages.

In 2022, the broadcaster expanded its newsroom via a $1.7 million capital campaign, adding five reporters and a Vice President of Content. LPM now plans to launch new initiatives, including a local radio show and a reorganized newsroom, to drive membership.

The broader financial picture for public radio has been grim. NPR has reported a 30% drop in weekly listenership since 2020 and many outlets across the nation have been struggling to make ends meet, post-pandemic.

San Francisco’s KQED laid off 8% of its staff in May, the same month that LAist (KPCC) announced a buyout plan. Additionally, Boston’s WBUR, Santa Monica’s KCRWChicago Public RadioWAMU in Washington DC, New York Public Radio, and CapRadio in Sacramento have also experienced buyouts and layoffs within the past year.


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