SAN FRANCISCO—On Monday, August 10, KQED announced they will lay off 20 (5.5 percent) staff members due to limited budget. KQED’s senior leadership claim that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their corporate sponsorship leading to the decision. KQED is using layoffs and other cost-saving solutions to deal with a $7.1 million budget gap.
Five senior journalists, including one producer, one part-time managing editor, and three limited-term temporary staff, will be laid off and their assignments will end one month earlier than anticipated. The other 15 layoffs are not from among senior leadership.
According to KQED’s website, Michael Isip, KQED president and CEO, mentioned in an email to staff:
“The recent implementation of a number of cost-saving measures were not enough to offset the need to lay off some staff in time for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Those measures included compensation cuts of roughly 12% taken by the senior leadership team this fiscal year.” According to KQED’s website, senior leaders estimate “a roughly 20% decline in corporate underwriting revenue will continue well into 2021.”
“Membership revenue, which ‘held steady’ this year, is expected to drop by roughly 6% next year, as KQED’s listenership also struggles due to the pandemic,” reads the article KQED published.
KQED is considering decreasing compensation for senior leadership to minimize these layoffs. Their website states that they will continue to negotiate with union partners about “elimination of a 2020 salary increase for all staff,” “a decrease of 403 (b) employer match from 3% to 0% effective on Oct. 1,” and “furloughs for all non-essential staff from Dec. 28-31 and July 6-9.”
KQED still offers open positions, which laid-off employees can also apply for. The public radio broadcasting company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1953 by James Day and Jonathan Rice. It was formerly known as Northern California Public Broadcasting Corporation, which is now operating KQED-FM radio station and KQED/KQET and KQEH TV stations.