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At NPR, storm clouds gather over declining revenue

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Even as local affiliate KQED’s current radio fundraiser seems to drag on forever, there’s increased handwringing at NPR, where corporate underwriting (aka, ad revenue) is on a downturn. The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi says new NPR chief Gary Knell met with staff this week to give an assessment that included the likelihood that NPR will end its fiscal year in September in the red, along with this ominous Knell quote:
“NPR has been withdrawing from the bank and we can’t keep doing that. We have to be at break-even or be in a positive position on an annual basis, or I can tell you at some point we’re going to have to turn the lights off.”
Meanwhile, Jim Romenesko posts NPR’s top-five on-air salary earners from its most recent Form 990: Robert Siegel $341,992; Renee Montagne 328,309; Steve Inskeep $320,950; Scott Simon $311,958; Michelle Norris $279,909.
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