NPR Makes Benefits Cuts

Facing a decline in corporate sponsorships, National Public Radio announced layoffs and benefits changes in an attempt to close a $15 million budget gap.

NPR said it will eliminate contributions to employee retirement accounts until October 1, then will slash contributions by half next year, according to the Washington Business Journal. It will also eliminate merit pay increases in 2010.

Effective May 1, the D.C.-based nonprofit broadcaster will also furlough its employees for five days until its new fiscal year starts October 1. Employees will also not be compensated for Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day this year and for three holidays next year, the Business Journal said.

The company expects to save $13 million through temporary reductions to employee benefits and compensation. Eliminating five vacant positions and temporarily freezing 13 unfilled jobs until October 1 will save the additional $2 million.

In an interesting move, the company gave employees the chance to voice what cost-savings measures the company could implement. In March, the company shared updated financial forecasts for 2009 and 2010 with its staff and stations and opened up a suggestion box, the news report said.