PBS layoffs and office closures will affect employees in three cities. Specifically, the cutbacks will affect employees associated with the NewsHour program.
The layoffs are expected to eliminate “non-critical jobs” in Washington D.C. Additionally, offices located in Denver, Colorado, and San Francisco, California, will be closing. Steadily declining revenue is blamed for the cuts.
Representatives with PBS estimate that only 10 people will be affected by the changes. Several employees will maintain their positions as they will simply work from home.
As reported by UPI, the fiscal year begins in July. The PBS layoffs and office closures will begin at that time. NewsHour executives expect the cutbacks to aid in streamlining their operations.
In a formal statement, PBS NewsHour explained their future plans:
“We believe the staff restructuring and production changes, along with continuing web investment, will make us stronger … we will build new relationships with journalists around the country … we believe the changes will strengthen our ability to adapt and grow as a journalistic institution.”
As reported by the Denver Post, the PBS layoffs come after a year of analysis. As revenue continued to decline, executives were faced with difficult decisions.
The layoffs and closures are expected to take several months to complete.
PBS NewsHour began in 1975 with Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer. Over the next 38 years, the news program expanded and continued to grow. According to PBS.org, the program was increased to an hour in 1983, becoming “the nation’s first and only hour-long nightly broadcast of national news.”
NewsHour has received over 30 awards for excellence in journalism. The name “NewsHour” became official in 1995.
Currently, NewsHour is broadcast Monday through Friday from 6 to 7 pm Eastern Time. The program is broadcast on over 300 local PBS channels. Local PBS channels often repeat the program at different times, as they make their own schedules.
The PBS layoffs and office closures will be difficult for everyone involved. However, executives contend that it was necessary to remain competitive in today’s market.