American Public Media/MPR Hiring in Wake of Layoffs, Buyouts
American Public Media’s offices in St. Paul Photo by Tony Webster/CC

American Public Media/MPR Hiring in Wake of Layoffs, Buyouts

Nonprofit says new positions in line with “strategic plan” for new fiscal year.

St. Paul-based American Public Media, parent of Minnesota Public Radio, is hiring again not long after implementing layoffs and a separate round of employee buyouts. The public radio nonprofit has posted 13 new jobs, including two internships, since the beginning of July. Ten of the jobs have been posted since July 16.

The APM/MPR job site currently lists 19 open positions, including two internships. Some of the postings stretch back to March, but all of the oldest postings are in Pasadena, California – home to APM/MPR-owned Southern California Public Radio. Most of the recent job postings are for jobs in St. Paul.

In May amid the Covid financial crunch, 14 APM/MPR employees took voluntary buyouts and a similar number took furloughs. In a statement at the time, a spokeswoman said, “We are currently facing the biggest financial test we’ve ever faced.”

In mid-June the nonprofit announced layoffs of 28 additional staffers.

Why does APM/MPR suddenly appear to be on a hiring spree? APM/MPR spokeswoman Kelly Reller said that previous staff cuts and current job openings all fit within the organization’s long-term “strategic plan.”

Said Reller, “The necessary operating, programming and staffing changes we made earlier this summer helped accelerate the strategic plans we’ve been pursing for some time.”

Like most nonprofit organizations, the APM/MPR fiscal year starts on July 1 and ends on June 30. Are these jobs open because a new fiscal year is just underway?

“Our 2021 fiscal year began July 1, 2020. As Covid-19 created large and unexpected financial challenges, we prepared our FY21 budget to reflect this difficult economic environment,” said Reller. “We have not yet seen a meaningful change in our business realities. We are now implementing the plan we prepared for our new fiscal year.”

Current jobs posted include a marketing manager for podcasts, lead archivist, a producer for content and events, a “talent acquisition manager,” and a regional membership program manager.

Reller added that the newly posted jobs are not replacements for staffers who took buyouts or were laid off.

“The posted positions are not replacements for any of the positions we eliminated earlier this summer. These roles are part of our strategic plan and our FY21 budget, and are essential to delivering key promises to our audiences,” said Reller. “They support programming and services that our audiences value most and are opportunities for growing our public service and for innovation.”