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NPR West Bears the Brunt of Layoffs, Program Cuts

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National Public Radio is cutting two daily shows and the majority of its Culver City-based NPR West staff as part of companywide layoffs and program cuts announced today.

Both Day to Day and News and Notes will go off the air March 20 and the 34 journalists working on the shows -- and 30 more NPR employees companywide -- will lose their jobs.

Day to Day, co-hosted by Madeleine Brand and Alex Cohen, is the only NPR national newsmagazine that caters to a West coast audience in real time (at least in LA, where it is broadcast live at 9 a.m. on KPCC). NPR mainstays Morning Edition and All Things Considered are broadcast in cycles, meaning that what is live starting with the 2 a.m. national broadcast is recycled to stretch to 9 a.m. on the West Coast. Former Day to Day co-host Alex Chadwick moved to the NPR National News Desk last month.

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The West Coast seems to be shunned by such restructuring as broadcast media copes with today's econalypse and we hope this isn't a trend, as only a fraction of the national radio and TV audience share resides in the Pacific Time Zone.

News and Notes, hosted by Farai Chideya, follows The Tavis Smiley Show as the second African-American hosted program to be cut by NPR in recent years (Smiley's show that airs Friday nights on KPCC is produced in partnership with PRI). News and Notes isn't carried by any stations in Southern California but is worth checking out online or via podcast.

Both programs published blogs about the cancellations this afternoon here and here.

While the layoffs account for about 7 percent of NPR's staff of 800, it seems that the entire full-time staff based in the NPR West bureau is affected. Journalists for Morning Edition including co-host Renee Montagne will continue to work at NPR West. Some interviews for Fresh Air with Terry Gross will likely continue to be co-produced from the facility as well.

The 25,000 sq. ft NPR West operation opened on Jefferson Blvd in November 2002.

Photo by Jacob Soboroff via flickr