CapRadio cuts staff, citing financial challenges

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A rendering of CapRadio's new headquarters in downtown Sacramento, scheduled to open in the fall.

CapRadio in Sacramento, Calif., announced Wednesday a 12% workforce reduction, citing financial strains.

The 12 employees laid off were across all departments and organizational levels, according to a spokesperson. Nine were part-time. Nine of the employees were based in Sacramento, while the other three were at North State Public Radio, which CapRadio manages.

“We are deeply saddened to say farewell to such dedicated and talented staff members,” said Tom Karlo, interim GM, in a news release. “This is a difficult decision, but we view it as necessary to carry out the station’s public service mission during a financially challenging time for us and for media across the country.”

The news release said CapRadio has spearheaded three major projects over the past five years: construction of a new headquarters and broadcast center in Sacramento’s downtown, a nearby public performance and gathering space, and relocation of its classical music station’s tower to improve audio quality.

“These plans have coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty and subsequent contraction experienced by media outlets nationwide,” the release said. “Construction on the projects, which are nearing completion, continued apace while gaining donor support was slowed by the pandemic.”

“Our board is working closely with CapRadio’s management team and our license holder Sacramento State to strengthen leadership, ensure financial sustainability and safeguard the organization’s journalistic independence,” said Chair Andrea Clark in the release. “CapRadio is an anchor institution for our community and will continue to provide outstanding content across all platforms for our diverse audiences.”

CapRadio’s IRS 990 form for 2021, the most recent available, shows the organization spent $1.2 million more than the roughly $16 million it earned in revenue that year. The prior year, its income had topped expenses by $3.3 million.

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