Everyone who occasionally flips around the radio dial knows that NPR is every bit as diverse as the vegan cafes whose clientele make up a sizable portion of its listening base.
The average NPR listener is white, has a copy of Elizabeth Warren’s book and vacations in New England or New Mexico. They drive an electric car and still believe that Trump will be indicted. Their coffee tables groan with coffee table books they never read. They have their auras examined every month.
That is to say that they’re not diverse. But NPR decided to chase diversity.
When asked about his priorities, Lansing invoked what he has called the network’s “North Star” since his arrival in the fall of 2019: a push to ensure the network has a bigger and broader audience base, rooted in younger and more diverse listeners, readers and consumers. The emphasis, he says, must be on drawing in “the future audience to make NPR sustainable for the next 50 years.”
NPR isn’t sustainable because its population chose voluntary extinction. To make NPR sustainable, it would have to be MSNBC. And its current North Star is going nova.
NPR’s chief executive announced the network would lay off roughly 10% of its current workforce – at least 100 people – and eliminate most vacant positions. CEO John Lansing cited the erosion of advertising dollars, particularly for NPR podcasts, and the tough financial outlook for the media industry more generally.
“When we say we are eliminating filled positions, we are talking about our colleagues – people whose skills, spirit and talents help make NPR what it is today,” Lansing wrote in a memo to staff today. “This will be a major loss.”
On an annual budget of roughly $300 million, Lansing says, revenues are likely to fall short by close to $30 million, although that gap could reach $32 million.
Why do I strongly suspect that Lansing is going to purge some of NPRT’s older white workforce rather than the new wokes who have come in keeping with DEI?