More Public Radio Layoffs, This Time In Louisville

Louisville Public Media is laying off eight of its employees.

The lost jobs are the result of a move to reduce operating expenses by roughly 10% for the budget year ahead, the public broadcaster says.

The nonprofit says it has an operating budget deficit for the year of $755,000. To make up for the shortfall, it’s laying off six full-time staff and two part-time staff. It’s also eliminating two unfilled positions.

The stations feeling the impact include WFPK Independent Louisville, WUOL Classical Louisville and WFPL News, in addition to Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, KyCIR.

“We’ve had to say goodbye to some of our colleagues. It’s painful and sad and it’s a thing I and every business leader out there hopes to never have to do,” said LPM President Stephen George, whose remarks were included in the public broadcaster’s own report.

Louisville Public Media just two years ago was in expansion mode. Bolstered by a $1.7 million capital campaign, LPM gained five reporters and a VP of content.

Engagement analytics, LPM says, indicate the growth was a key factor in 20% higher audience growth, “mostly in digital and news.” LPM says the expansion also resulted in more public service stories produced in the newsroom by 50%, George said. But the expansion hasn’t generated enough new memberships to keep pace with expenses.

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