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Firing Squad

We got some bad news today.

NPR is canceling our program, along with another program produced here at NPR West, News and Notes.

Here's part of a statement from NPR's acting CEO, Dennis Haarsager:

In late spring, we began to see a decrease in NPR corporate sponsorship, which makes up nearly a third of our operating budget. While we made budget cuts at that time and continued to do so as the economy faltered, all our revenue sources are under pressure. Corporate sponsorship has decreased even more sharply since mid-September. All industries, including the financial, automotive, and media industries, historically our biggest underwriters, are cutting back significantly. Additionally, the philanthropic foundations and major donors who support NPR are cautiously watching the economy and their future giving is uncertain. The manageable $2 million budget deficit we projected in July for Fiscal Year 2009 has now risen to a projected $23 million deficit.

It is clear that this serious financial situation can't be responsibly resolved through short-term or temporary cuts. Rather, we must take measures that provide long-term savings, and that preserve our effectiveness and ability to generate vital income in the years ahead.

Today, we are announcing the cancellation of News & Notes and Day to Day, and significant budget reductions across the organization. These cuts include the elimination of 64 filled and 21 unfilled positions, many of which are associated with the two cancelled programs. Positions have also been eliminated across NPR, including reporting, editorial, and production staffs; station services; digital media; research; communications; and administrative support. Overall, this is a 7% reduction in NPR's current workforce.

It is important for you to understand why we chose to cancel News & Notes and Day to Day, and the implications for programming strategy and commitments. Neither program was attracting sufficient levels of audience or national underwriting necessary to sustain continued production under these tough financial circumstances.

Of course, every day we have been reporting on the downturn in the economy. Now, we can really share that pain.

Our demise will not be immediate. We'll continue producing and broadcasting the program until March 20th. We hope you'll continue to listen, and visit us at Daydreaming.

And a note to Facebook members: A fan has started a group, Save NPR's Day to Day. As of this writing it has more than five hundred members.