Next round of budget cuts includes reduced compensation for NPR execs, negotiations with unions

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In meetings with the NPR staff today, President Vivian Schiller announced that a new round of budget cuts is needed to meet revised revenue forecasts for 2009 and 2010. In addition to discretionary cuts made last week (including the cancellation of some newspaper subscriptions) NPR has reduced executive compensation by more than $500,000, according to Dana Davis Rehm, senior v.p. “The cuts that we made in December are not sufficient to cover what we need to do now,” Rehm said, describing “pressure on every single one of our revenue sources” and worries about the financial condition of stations. NPR management suspended contributions to retirement plans of all NPR executives from April 1 – Sept. 30. In addition, v.p.s at all levels will forgo salary increases this year and next and work without pay during the last payroll of 2009, Rehm said. Next week management enters negotiations over how the cutbacks will affect its unionized workforce. Rehm declined to specify how much NPR seeks reduce its spending under its revised forecast, but anticipates “fast track” decision-making and an announcement by early May. “I don’t want to float numbers publicly until I feel they’re very solid,” she said.

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