KCRW have lost 28 employees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with four staff members being laid off and 24 staff members leaving through a voluntary separation program. Senior staff at the Los Angeles radio station and NPR affiliate will also be taking an aggregate 20 percent pay cut, with KCRW’s President taking the largest portion, to help mitigate the effects from a 30 percent loss in overall budget.
Despite becoming Los Angeles’ No.1 most listened-to public radio station since the pandemic began, KCRW has faced a loss in budget due to lower sponsorship. The radio station is only the most recent in a long list of media companies that have had to lay off employees due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The public radio station has managed to launch the new series, Consider This, in the midst of the pandemic, with the show becoming the United State’s first local/national daily podcasted produced in partnership between both of Los Angeles’ major NPR affiliates, KCRW and KPCC and NPR national. The station will also be launching the new series, Our Body Politic, with Farai Chideya discussing politics for and about women of color.
“KCRW is a special place with deep connections to the communities we serve,” KCRW President, Jennifer-Ferro, said in a statement. “We remain committed to telling stories that inspire a greater understanding of the institutions and people around us. In the current moment, our mission is more important than ever.”
Additionally, KCRW will be announcing the new host for the station’s signature music show, Morning Becomes Eclectic, and will be launching a the third season documentary music podcast, Lost Notes, with Hanif Abdurraquib . The NPR-affiliate has also launched several web series to appeal to new at-home audiences, and have hosted several virtual events, including This Album Saved My Teenage Years.
Live Nation also reduced staff earlier this month due to major loss in budget from the COVID-19 pandemic. Several other news organizations, including Condé Nast, which owns Pitchfork, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Wired and several other media companies, Vice Media, Buzzfeed, Vox Media and Group Nine Media have all been forced to lay-off large numbers of staff members.