KQED to lay off 18 to 25 staff

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Jason O’Rear/KQED

KQED in San Francisco will resort to layoffs after announcing a voluntary buyout program last month. 

In an email to staff Monday obtained by Current, CEO Michael Isip said that he anticipates 18 to 25 employees will be laid off pending finalization of buyouts. 

The Squeeze first reported on the expected layoffs. 

Isip announced the buyouts in April due to a “higher than expected budget deficit at the end of this fiscal year,” he said at the time. 

The layoffs will be part of a “range of cuts” at the station, Isip said. He did not specify what cuts are being considered beyond layoffs. 

Isip said that four employees will leave through an early retirement program and that five additional staffers took buyouts. 

A “handful” of employees “have requested a package and we are still determining if their departures would create cost savings or help retain other staff members,” he wrote.

Staff had until Friday to opt into the buyout program. 

The number of employees leaving the station voluntarily “will not produce enough savings to close our budget gap, and we will have to find additional savings,” Isip said. 

Isip said the “next update” will be at a May 23 all-staff meeting and that more details about the budget reductions and layoffs will come “by the end of this month.”

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