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KUOW announces cost reduction measures and reorganization

April 30, 2024

KUOW, like many media outlets, is facing financial headwinds that necessitate realigning our operating cost model with the realities of changing consumer media consumption behavior and the availability of public, corporate, and philanthropic funding.

We have worked diligently to manage expenses and have simultaneously invested in new strategies for revenue generation and have seen some good trends with revenue growth. However, these new revenue generation measures will take some time to fully manifest and are not currently delivering adequately to cover the rising costs of producing journalism that informs the public, broadens conversations, and contributes to a vibrant democracy. In the short term, our budget remains strained, requiring us to take decisive actions to align our expenses with available funding.

To address this shortfall, KUOW will reduce FY2025 operating costs by $2 million. $1 million of this will come from ending the RadioActive Youth Media program and the elimination of 8 current and 3 open staff positions. These reductions are essential for us to maintain financial sustainability while continuing to fulfill our mission of providing high-quality journalism and programming to our community.

While reductions are being made across all departments, they are being implemented thoughtfully, taking into account the unique needs and functions of each area, and with careful consideration given to preserving the core functions of our organization. This approach aims to distribute the impact of the reductions fairly while maintaining a balanced and sustainable organizational structure. We recognize that these staff reductions will significantly impact the affected employees, and we are committed to providing support and assistance throughout the transition process.

Overall, these changes at KUOW are a necessary step to address our budget constraints and ensure the long-term sustainability of our organization and our ability to continue delivering a valuable public service to our local community and broaden conversations, deepen understanding, and create a more informed public.

Caryn G. Mathes President & General Manager, KUOW

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