This report contains a clarification.
KQED announced Monday it is laying off 20 staff members, representing 5.5% of its workforce, while a handful of other employees had their hours reduced. KQED's senior leadership blamed a sharp decline in corporate sponsorship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In an email to staff, KQED President and CEO Michael Isip said the recent implementation of a number of cost-saving measures were not enough to offset the need to lay off some staff in time for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Those measures included compensation cuts of roughly 12% taken by the senior leadership team this fiscal year.
The layoffs and other cost-saving measures aim to address a projected $7.1 million budget gap.
Among the organization's content divisions, one full-time limited term journalist was laid off as well as one part-time managing editor, Paul Rogers. Chief Content Officer Holly Kernan wrote of him: "Paul Rogers helped build the science unit and turn it into one of the most impressive science news teams on the West Coast, if not the entire country. Paul is a wonderful colleague, a unique talent and we will miss him dearly.”
The contracts of two people on the science team in temporary fill-in positions, staffers who contributed significantly to the organization's coronavirus coverage, were terminated one month early, and Kernan wrote the rest of the science team will be integrated into the broader newsroom in the near future.
Senior leadership did not provide a breakdown of the 18 other layoffs across the organization.