APM ends 'Live from Here', lays off 28 employees

The Light Rail train passes in front of the Kling Public Media Center.
Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media on Tuesday announced more than two dozen layoffs and the cancellation of a national program.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2018

Updated: 4:25 p.m.

Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media on Tuesday announced more than two dozen layoffs and the cancellation of “Live from Here,” a national program.

In an email to listeners and members, American Public Media president and CEO Jon McTaggart said widespread economic turmoil, uncertainty and unexpected financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the layoffs of 28 people.

“While recent MPR and APM member drives and emergency fundraising efforts have been successful, with gifts from our Board and other donors, the generosity of our valued contributors is unfortunately not enough to offset the rapid loss of revenue we are experiencing,” McTaggart’s email stated.

Cutbacks include the end of the national production of “Live from Here,” the program that evolved out of Garrison Keillor's “A Prairie Home Companion” show, as well as the podcast “The Hilarious World of Depression.”

Chris Thile took over as host of “A Prairie Home Companion” in October 2016, and the show was renamed “Live from Here” the following year, as Minnesota Public Radio severed ties with Keillor and his companies over a sexual harassment allegation that Keillor denied.

Voluntary separations preceded the layoffs and American Public Media says it has cut executive pay by 20 to 35 percent. American Public Media declined an interview request.

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