NPR Cancels Multicultural Program Tell Me More

Executives say the program’s mission to reflect the diversity of America will continue in new ways. 

NPR offices in Washington, D.C.
NPR offices in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

NPR Cancels Multicultural “Tell Me More”

Host Michel Martin Given Network-Wide Role

NPR said Tuesday it is ending production of “Tell Me More,” the multicultural daily magazine hosted by Michel Martin that began in 2007, promising a wider role for Martin and regretting the budget crunch that executives said made the cancellation and other cuts necessary.

NPR is projecting a deficit of $6.1 million in its current fiscal year, or about 3 percent of its projected revenue of $178 million, Paul Farhi wrote this month in the Washington Post. “The gap between revenue and expenses led NPR to offer buyouts to its 840 employees in September, in an effort to pare about 10 percent of its staff,” Farhi wrote.

In a note to the NPR staff, Margaret Low Smith, senior vice president for news, said, “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. . . .”

NPR issued this statement from Martin:

“I’m so very proud of the work we’ve all done here at Tell Me More for the past seven years. This outstanding team has reached out to people who would never have had a place on public radio otherwise. We’ve brought new voices, new ideas and a fresh take on things and we’ve proven that this can be done without sacrificing excellence. We’ve also had a lot of fun doing it.

“As you imagine, I’m very disappointed with today’s news.