Marketplace bureau chief riffed in APM downsizing

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Ten employees of American Public Media will lose their jobs in a strategic reorganization announced this afternoon, according to an internal memo provided to Current.

Layoffs extend across the Minnesota-based pubcaster and into its news operation in Washington, D.C., where Marketplace Bureau Chief John Dimsdale received a pink slip.

In more than 20 years with APM, Dimsdale has covered regulatory hearings, budget battles and presidential elections “with reliability and great credibility,” according to the memo, which was co-authored by four of APM’s top managers.

APM also released employees who work behind the scenes on Marketplace Tech Report, local broadcasts of Morning Edition, and the classical music series Pipedreams, which will continue broadcasting but on a “less-demanding” production timetable. Host Michael Barone remains on the show and will take on a “more visible regional role with Minnesota audiences.”

Staff positions were also eliminated in APM’s marketing and communications and creative services divisions.

In a statement provided by email, APM chief Jon McTaggart said the changes position the public media company “for future audience opportunities” by reorganizing in two key areas, “content and development.”

“We are aligning our priorities to focus on two main divisions that create value for our audiences and cultivate vital relationships with our members, donors and funders,” McTaggart said. “The result is a more streamlined organization that gives us a strong footing as we look ahead.”

The memo announcing the downsizing was co-signed by Brian Newhouse, managing director of classical; Mary Pat Ladner, v.p. of marketing and communications; Nick Kereakos, v.p. of technology and operations; and J.J. Yore, v.p. and g.m. of Marketplace. “We are saddened to see these members of our APM family leave the organization,” they said. “As difficult as these decisions have been, we are confident that the new organizational structure is a solid footing to support our path forward.”

Five reporters continue to work out of APM’s D.C. news bureau, according to Mardi Larson, spokesperson. The journalists report for KPCC in Pasadena, an APM news station that’s branded as Southern California Public Radio; Minnesota Public Radio, the APM flagship in St. Paul; and Marketplace, APM’s most widely distributed news program.

This is the second round of layoffs at APM in four months. Digital innovation chief Joaquin Alvarado and his California-based software development team were let go in March.

This post has been updated to include McTaggart’s statement and details about APM’s D.C.-based news operation.

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