NPR announces buyouts, names acting president and CEO

NPR | The Washington Post

NPR will be offering buyouts as part of an effort to reduce staff by 10 percent,NPR’s Mark Memmott reports. The move is “strategy to eliminate the deficit and lower ongoing expenses,” a memo to staffers says.

The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi explains the financial situation:

NPR said it is projecting an operating deficit of $6.1 million during its upcoming fiscal year, based on revenues of $178.1 million. It said that it was seeking to reduce its staffing levels by about 10 percent through voluntary buyouts. With roughly 840 employees, that would mean a reduction of 80 to 84 people. It laid off 64 employees, or about 8 percent of its staff, in late 2008 and cut two programs in order to save money. The organization receives less than 2 percent of its annual budget directly from federal funds, but relies on dues from member stations that receive an average of about 15 percent of their budgets from federal funds.

The news comes the same day that NPR named Paul G. Haaga, Jr. its acting president and CEO, effective Sept. 30.

Most recently, Hagga has been vice chair of NPR’s board of directors and the chair of its Finance Committee. He succeeds Gary Knell, who announced last month that he’s stepping down to take a job as president and CEO of the National Geographic Society.

This is just the latest of many leadership changes at the organization in recent years.

You can find the full release here:

September 13, 2013; Washington, D.C. – The Board of Directors of NPR announced today that Paul G. Haaga, Jr. will serve as Acting President & CEO of NPR effective September 30. Haaga has served on the Board since 2011, most recently as Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of its Finance Committee.

“Paul has made many valuable contributions to NPR during his tenure on the Board,” said Kit Jensen, Chair of the NPR Board and CEO of WVIZ/PBS & 90.3 WCPN Ideastream. “His intimate knowledge of our organization, his unwavering commitment to the highest quality of journalism and programming, and his financial acumen make him particularly well-suited to lead NPR as we begin our search for a permanent chief executive.”

Haaga said that his time on the Board has been “one of the most rewarding and exciting phases of my career.” He continued: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead one of the world’s leading providers of news, music and cultural programming on an interim basis and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and senior leadership team to help this great organization build on its success.”

Haaga will succeed NPR President and CEO Gary E. Knell, who recently announced that he will leave the organization to become President and CEO of the National Geographic Society. NPR has appointed a search committee, co-chaired by Board members Florence Rogers, President and General Manager, Nevada Public Radio, and John Wotowicz, Managing Partner, Concentric Capital, to lead the search for a permanent CEO.

The Board also approved a budget for fiscal year 2014 and a strategic roadmap to achieve a balanced budget over the next two years. The budget includes operating and investment revenues of $178.1 million, expenses of $183 million, and an operating cash deficit of $6.1 million, or 3 percent of revenues. As part of the strategy to eliminate the deficit and lower ongoing expenses, NPR will offer a voluntary buyout plan broadly across the organization that seeks to reduce staffing levels by approximately 10 percent.

Haaga has led an accomplished career. He is the retired chairman of the Board of Capital Research and Management Company, former chairman of the Investment Company Institute, and former partner in the law firm of Dechert Price & Rhoads in Washington. He served as a senior attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

His philanthropic leadership includes serving as chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History; trustee of the Huntington Library, Museum and Gardens in San Marino, California; member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (Chairman 2007-2013); a trustee of Georgetown Preparatory School; a member of the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute; a member of the Board of Overseers of Hoover Institution at Stanford University; and a member of the Policy Circle at Pardee-Rand Graduate School. He and his wife Heather were among the founding group that started the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Haaga earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

 

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