NPR’s “Tell Me More” Has Been Canceled

The media organization announced that the popular radio program’s last broadcast will be Aug. 1, 2014.

1. NPR correspondent David Folkenflik wrote on Tuesday that the radio program Tell Me More will be canceled effective Aug. 1, and that 28 other positions will also be eliminated.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The structural changes were detailed via a memo sent throughout the company. It read, in part:

Today we are announcing changes in the newsroom to ensure we remain a leader in a dynamic and intensely competitive news environment, while living within NPR’s budget.

To that end, we made the difficult decision to end production of Tell Me More on August 1st. In addition we are eliminating other filled and unfilled positions across the News Division and in the Library. All told today, 28 positions will be eliminated. Eight of those positions are vacant. These hard choices are part of a plan that restructures the newsroom for the future. As we move forward, our guiding principles are a newsroom that unites our audio and digital storytelling capabilities; sharpens our editorial focus; allows us to create journalism of distinction across multiple platforms; and reflects the diversity of American life. Though we have cut positions, we are also creating new ones and have a number of open jobs.

3. The memo also said that Michel Martin, host of Tell Me More, will remain with the company.

Amy Sussman / Getty Images

It was stressed that “the issues and perspectives that she and the show team have brought to public radio will be infused into every aspect of our journalism.”

4. Folkenflik pointed out that the demise of Tell Me More is NPR’s third loss for “programs expressly designed to have a primary appeal for African-American listeners and other people of color.”

Tavis Smiley took his show to another network after money disputes, and News and Notes ended in 1999.

The Race Card Project and Code Switch, two of NPR’s ventures that deal with matters of race and diversity, will remain in tact while hiring a “handful of reporters.”

6. Employees of NPR have been very vocal about their disappointment in the changes, including Gene Demby, lead blogger of Code Switch, who tweeted about the importance of the show.

A couple of months ago, my mom came to visit me at work, along with one of her cousins.

— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215)

And what her cousin really wanted to do was meet the folks at Tell Me More, and M. Martin in particular. She was geeked.

— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215)

The folks at Tell Me More are so gracious; they let my mom + cousin sit in on their staff meeting. They invited my mom/cousin to chime in.

— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215)

I dunno if you've seen breakdowns of what the NPR audience looks like. It's Utah out there. My fam is not the NPR audience.

— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215)

And yet they were here, in this building, excited as hell to snap a picture with Michel Martin.

— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215)

The TMM crew do great work. They know everything and everyone. And they are lovely people to work with.

— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215)

12. Fans of Tell Me More share in the disappointment, and are tweeting their sadness at the news.

Yesterday was a very happy day Today -- not so much. Sad day at @NPR Mad love and much respect to the team at @TellMeMoreNPR

— Michele Norris (@michele_norris)

Awful news. @nprnews is canceling @TellMeMoreNPR. This hits me hard. Listen to rebroadcast every evening.

— John Edwin Mason (@johnedwinmason)

Ugh I can't believe NPR is canceling @TellMeMoreNPR. Sure you won't reconsider, @nprnews?

— Elizabeth McIntyre (@eamcintyre)

Upsetting that Tell Me More was cancelled. That show talked about the hardest of issues and I came away more informed every time.

— p.s. (@pablitasan)

INCREDIBLY disappointed to see Tell Me More go @nprnews there is no other news source like it

— AMG (@houseofleigh)

Very disappointed that NPR is canceling Tell Me More, a necessary champion for diversity on public radio

— Alexandra Kyerematen (@acherrymartin)

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