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Npr Podcasts Canceled: What’s Disappearing?

By Tom Seest

Which NPR Podcasts Were Recently Cancelled?

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NPR recently made headlines when it announced layoffs of 10% of staff and the cancellation of four podcasts to address its anticipated $30 million deficit, prompting discussions over what this signifies for public radio’s future.
Although none of the canceled shows were NPR flagship broadcast shows, all were popular podcasts – such as Invisibilia season one, Louder Than a Riot and Rough Translation episodes, plus Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Spinoff Everyone & Their Mom.

Which NPR Podcasts Were Recently Cancelled?

Which NPR Podcasts Were Recently Cancelled?

What Invisibilia Podcasts Did NPR Cancel?

It was a shock when NPR announced it was canceling Invisibilia and three other podcasts, such as Radiolab. Invisibilia combined sophisticated storytelling with cultural and scientific reporting to produce remarkable narratives that sometimes seemed magical. Podcasting excels at providing intimate voices, sound artistry, and thought-provoking questions that require you to rethink what you know.
Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller, podcast stars known for their appearances on This American Life and Radiolab, respectively, have amassed an audience that’s come to expect their unique blend of curiosity, intelligence, and humor in each episode they air – from covering topics such as blind men using echolocation to “see” the world to understanding your own inner thoughts – that can often prove hauntingly captivating.
Invisibilia’s seventh season was set to mark an important moment in its history: an episode that explored how your mind can alter physical reality. Like all Invisibilia episodes, this one explored how our expectations, fears, and desires shape the world we live in – it even includes interviews with experts in neuroscience, psychology, and physics! – and had that “you won’t believe what comes next” feel to it!
NPR this week made headlines when it announced its largest staff cuts since 2008: 10% of employees, including producers, hosts, and audience researchers, were affected. To cut costs, they eliminated open positions, cut nonessential travel, and suspended internship programs, and managed to save $14 Million as a result of those moves.
NPR CEO explained that savings were necessary to cover a $30 million shortfall in NPR’s budget. No shows were canceled, while the investigative podcast Embedded will transition to a regular publishing schedule. Furthermore, Throughline and Louder Than a Riot podcasts will expand.
Many reactions to the NPR layoffs have focused on their impact on employees of color or women; however, NPR CEO John Lansing claims that the cuts were designed so as to maintain demographic parity for its workforce. NPR also planned its reorganization so as to produce at least the same number of episodes per year and continue producing diverse podcast content.

What Invisibilia Podcasts Did NPR Cancel?

What Invisibilia Podcasts Did NPR Cancel?

What Surprising Outcome Came from the Cancellation of Louder Than a Riot?

Last week was an emotional time for NPR, as the media company laid off 10 percent of staff and suspended production on four podcasts due to a $30 million budget shortfall. These cuts affected staffers from across all departments, including podcasting producers, hosts, and audience researchers – though frozen positions and restricted travel had previously attempted to save money; unfortunately, these measures weren’t enough.
Fan favorites were among those to be eliminated, such as human behavior science podcast Invisibilia and news podcast Rough Translation, as well as comedy show Everyone & Their Mom, which had only recently begun its year-old spinoff from Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me radio program. NPR’s news director stated that these cuts were necessary so the company could produce high-quality content while meeting financial obligations.
But NPR’s decision to cancel its podcasts also had a devastating effect on its culture and mission, with affected hosts and producers calling the move “brutal.” This news came at a time when public radio was struggling to keep pace with podcasting’s multibillion-dollar industry growth; their announcement followed other major podcast layoffs by major players like Slate and Verge, which also cut many popular shows.
Reasons behind NPR’s cuts? Declining advertising revenues and underwriting (or sponsorship) revenues have caused these decisions, and as yet, it remains unknown if its podcast line-up will survive this transition period.
Though NPR’s cancellations will undoubtedly be felt, its other offerings continue as usual. Regular NPR podcasts like Throughline and Ear Hustle remain. There are also programs such as Code Switch and Planet Money that combine broadcast radio shows with standalone podcasts; limited series like Embedded and White Lies will be reworked into more traditional publishing schedules.

What Surprising Outcome Came from the Cancellation of Louder Than a Riot?

What Surprising Outcome Came from the Cancellation of Louder Than a Riot?

What Does Cancelling ‘Rough Translation’ Mean for NPR Listeners?

Podcasters across the nation are mourning the loss of some of their favorite shows from NPR. The news organization recently laid off 10% of its staff and discontinued four podcasts as it struggles with an existential threat in the form of an expected $30 million shortfall for 2016. Meanwhile, several veteran journalists, including long-term foreign correspondent Sylvia Poggioli, decided to retire as well.
Lansing has cited declining advertising revenues as the reason for these cutbacks, described by some as NPR’s largest reduction since 2008. He stressed that his company remains committed to podcasts as well as radio programs such as Morning Edition and All Things Considered and will produce journalism that resonates throughout its network.
NPR is an industry leader when it comes to podcasts, boasting third place on the Podtrac industry tracker. Their lineup includes Invisibilia and Louder Than a Riot, as well as Everyone & Their Mom comedy spinoff and Short Wave, a daily science podcast from NPR itself.
Rough Translation is an NPR podcast unlike any other, exploring global cultures through stories that tie them together. Host Gregory Warner travels the globe to bring audiences deeply reported narratives with emotional resonance – yet does so in an approachable fashion that makes you feel as if you’re with him on this adventure.
Recently, he visited both a Ukrainian battlefield and a Syrian first date to examine how culture influences responses to pandemics. Each episode stands alone but often shares common threads – like an exchange student from China who posts videos criticizing his president on Twitter while seeking asylum or one man’s mission to bring hundreds of fellow Venezuelans back from Ecuador via walking 1,300 miles, or Ireland’s “cocooning” policy during coronavirus lockdowns.
Some listeners have voiced their displeasure at NPR’s decision to cancel such an outspoken show, while others have noted its reduction of staff due to economic constraints in recent months.

What Does Cancelling 'Rough Translation' Mean for NPR Listeners?

What Does Cancelling ‘Rough Translation’ Mean for NPR Listeners?

What Impact Did Cancellation of NPR Podcasts Have on Everyone & Their Mom?

Emma Choi used her time interning on the NPR podcast Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me to develop her PowerPoint skills, which may have earned her the gig as host of this youth-oriented spinoff that aims to give young listeners a voice on NPR. Each episode covers news from all over the world while interviewing a range of artists and comedians about whatever topic may be popular at any one time – including why Queen Elizabeth is launching her own sauce brand or her grandmother struggles to perfect her kimchi recipe!
Choi is an engaging host with an infectious personality and a knack for drawing out the best in her guests. Her infectious enthusiasm makes the show feel fresh and relevant to people who may have never heard of NPR or its podcasts before.
Betches Moms explores the side of parenting that you won’t find on Insta posts: dealing with mental labor division and in-law criticism. With hilarious anecdotes and real conversations from Betches Moms’ podcasters, this will make your parenthood journey less lonely!
Last month, NPR’s CEO announced plans to lay off 10% of staff and cease production on four podcasts: Invisibilia for human-behavioral science; Louder Than a Riot with hip-hop themes; Rough Translation with translation-themed segments and the year-old Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me spinoff Everyone & Their Mom with language segments. Furthermore, most vacant positions and travel expenses would also be drastically cut back by NPR.
Layoffs affect people involved with production as well as those running a major news network, such as designing visual elements for podcasts and the web, conducting audience research, etc. Louder Than a Riot raised concerns that these layoffs disproportionately affected queer and POC staff; however, NPR assured its audience members that its north star initiative will remain dedicated to diversity and equity issues.

What Impact Did Cancellation of NPR Podcasts Have on Everyone & Their Mom?

What Impact Did Cancellation of NPR Podcasts Have on Everyone & Their Mom?

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