Skip to primary content


NPR Cancels $2-Million Experiment — Are They Kidding?

The New York Times reports that the Bryant Park Project, a NPR experiment in producing a news program geared for younger audiences, is being canceled. I often listen to it on Sirius Satellite Radio — and have come to enjoy it — although occasionally it goes over the top and sounds like morning shock jocks.

Unfortunately, I am not in their demographic group and often asked my wife, is this what youth wants or is this what old staid folks at NPR think youth wants. The fact that both my wife and I enjoy it might be a clue.

Nonetheless, here is what bothered me. In fact, I wondered if it were a typo in the Times:

It’s an expensive failure — the first-year budget was more than $2 million —

So $2 million is an expensive experiment, when for example, I have heard in its heyday  the New York Times spent $300 million a year for its newsroom. ProPublica is investing $10 million per year for a multi-year investigative journalism project. I am sorry folks $2 million when CEOs make a couple of hundred million a year, is not very much to pull a plug on an experiment which needed time to grow.

For a one year project, it was extremely good. And pulling the plug on new programming with promise for future audiences will be the way for NPR to become totally irrelevant in the future. Having all those new voices, a new tone and a high quality presentation was extremely refreshing and killing it off after just one year is, in one listener’s opinion, a foolish move.

Comments are closed.