WBUR considers cuts amid budget troubles

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WBUR in Boston is considering measures to address budgetary issues that could include a hiring freeze or layoffs, WBUR CEO Margaret Low said in a letter to donors Wednesday.

Low wrote that “given our current economics, we’ll likely need to make some tough choices in the coming months. That could include everything from freezing open positions to eliminating jobs.”

The station reported an operating deficit of more than $6 million in fiscal year 2023, according to a financial report posted on its website. Its deficit ballooned from nearly $4 million in FY22. Expenses grew by more than $2 million while revenue remained flat, according to the document. The largest increase was in “general and administrative” expenses.

The station has also “seen a dramatic loss of sponsorship support,” Low said in the letter, with annual on-air underwriting revenue falling 40%, or about $7 million, over the last five years.  

“Sponsorship dollars won’t return to previous levels,” she said. “These are not temporary ups and downs.”

Low blamed “long-term shifts” for the fall in underwriting. Almost all sponsorship support “now goes to the big platforms — like Facebook, Google, Amazon and Spotify,” she wrote. “This is bad news for the news business and has created big gaps that can’t easily be filled.”

2 thoughts on “WBUR considers cuts amid budget troubles

  1. I used to love the station, now I hate it. It is so annoyingly left wing that it turns my stomach. Everything is forced through the prism of race, gender and DEI. I did not leave the station, the station left me.

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