As a grassroots left media organization, The Real News Network has, up until now, been comparatively well-resourced financially, thanks to generous foundation support, as well as the support of our viewers and readers. Unfortunately, the financial realities of COVID-19 have changed our situation, making some very hard decisions necessary.
The leadership of The Real News was recently notified that due to the impact of the pandemic on investments behind our organization’s major foundation support, we were going to be facing a major and completely unexpected shortfall in our 2021 funding. Specifically, we were informed that we were to expect a drop from an annual amount of funding that was projected to be $3.3 million in 2020 to one that is just $1.5 million for 2021.
While The Real News also has meaningful and deeply appreciated financial support from many generous and committed viewers and readers, this cut to core funding meant that we had to act immediately in order to save as many jobs as we could. Our budget is overwhelmingly composed of expenses for staff salaries and benefits, so we had no choice but to make deep reductions in both union and non-union staff levels, and to do so fast enough to prevent even further cuts from becoming necessary.
We want to make it clear that we regret every single layoff we had to announce yesterday. None of the talented, creative, and dedicated workers at The Real News—journalists, hosts, studio technicians, producers, and others—who lost their jobs were laid off for any reason other than the massive and unexpected funding shortfall we were forced to address. We are committed to doing anything in our power to help the staff members affected by these layoffs find new employment, and to working with the staff union as we navigate this crisis.
We are also committed to supporting the staff whose jobs we have been able to save at The Real News, and to building back a more resilient base of financial support for our work together.
The Real News Network