American Public Media Group shared new details Wednesday about its plans to disband the investigative unit APM Reports and shift some of its projects to Minnesota Public Radio, a division of APMG.
Among the changes, APMG is discontinuing the award-winning podcast In the Dark.
“We are no longer able to sustain support of In the Dark and we are immediately beginning to explore opportunities to find a new home — either for the entire enterprise, outside of APMG or for the talented journalists, within APMG,” APMG spokesperson Tsering Yangchen said in an email to Current.
In an email to staff, CEO Jean Taylor said the decision was “guided by the understanding that we have finite resources and talent which should be focused where we can have the greatest impact,” the Minnesota Reformer reported.
Another coverage unit within APM Reports, the water-themed reporting project The Water Main, will also end “unless we receive additional funding,” Yangchen wrote. She added that “environmental and climate reporting remains a top priority for our MPR News and Marketplace newsrooms and by reorganizing how our work is done, we will allocate more resources to local and regional reporting, including investments in MPR News.”
APMG cut two APM Reports positions in May and eight more this month, according to Yangchen.
APM Reports initiatives on education and mental health will continue within MPR News, as well as an investigative journalism collaboration with public radio stations, according to an APMG statement shared by Yangchen.
“While programming decisions that result in the elimination of roles are never easy or made in haste, this reorganization will enable MPR to improve journalistic collaboration, achieve greater operational efficiencies, and provide new resources for coverage of topics that connect with our audiences and drive impact,” APMG said in the statement. “We will accomplish this by adding 12 roles within MPR, including seven within MPR News.”
Taylor told staff in May about the plan to disband APM Reports but did not offer specifics about staff cuts. The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union representing APM Reports employees filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that APMG didn’t negotiate over the layoffs, according to the Minnesota Reformer.