NPR announced to staff in an email Thursday that it is ending regular posting to The Salt, its food blog.
Andrea Kissack, chief science editor and head of the NPR’s Science Desk, said in the email that NPR will “shift emphasis and resources away from promoting and trying to establish a large, active community under The Salt brand.” She added that there will be “the opportunity to tag digital food stories to The Salt.”
Kissack wrote that the blog has been a “resounding success” since it started in 2011. Stories on the blog garnered “hundreds of millions of pageviews,” she said, and the blog won the James Beard Award for publication of the year in 2018.
But NPR has seen “little uptake in audience recognition of most of our blog brands,” Kissack wrote. The network eliminated five news blogs in 2018 due to low reader recognition of the brands.
“The audience overwhelmingly likes the content NPR provides and the content The Salt provides, but readers themselves as a whole show little awareness of many of our blog brands,” Kissack said. “In short, most of them don’t seek out The Salt.”
In the last three months of 2019, searches for keywords such as “The Salt” or “NPR The Salt” drove only 0.04% of the blog’s traffic. “It’s not a reflection of The Salt itself, but the fact that Web users largely search for the specific content themes and ideas, not the branded names of NPR’s blogs,” Kissack wrote.
Maria Godoy, editor of The Salt, will become a science correspondent and editor, according to Kissack. An NPR spokesperson told Current that no positions will be eliminated.