Minnesota Public Radio 375

Fourteen employees at Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and parent company American Public Media (APM) have agreed to accept voluntary buyouts being offered as the group addresses “the biggest financial test we’ve ever faced.”

According to Bring Me The News (BMTN), the buyouts were offered as part of a Voluntary Employee Separation and Furlough Program.

Executive pay was also reduced as the public media group took actions to “adjust our expenses to new revenue realities” brought on by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among those electing to leave are MPR News Interim Director Laura McCullum and MPR/APM producer Kate Moos. Those who applied for the voluntary buyouts will be exiting between late May and June. Moos set a date of May 29, BMTN reports. She will join news service Sahan Journal this summer.

McCallum, a company veteran of nearly three decades, will also leave at the end of May. “I have decided to leave MPR News at the end of the month, mindful of the challenging financial picture ahead, and through the company's voluntary separation program,” she wrote on Twitter. “After nearly 27 years in various roles, it's time for a change.”

In addition to the voluntary buyout option, approximately the same number of employees will be furloughed.

“We are currently facing the biggest financial test we’ve ever faced. As we evaluate a wide range of changes to cut expenses, we’re taking great care with any changes to our programming and with decisions that affect the lives and livelihoods of our dedicated employees,” Angie Andresen, Managing Director of Communications at MPR, said in a release to BMTN. “To say we’re grateful to these colleagues for all they’ve done for MPR and their commitment to our ongoing public service is an understatement. It’s always difficult to say goodbye to colleagues, and especially so when we can’t do it in person. We will miss each one of these talented people.”