There must have been some smiling faces around the National Public Radio studios in Culver City when the memo from COO Ken Stern arrived. Regular staffers are getting a one-time bonus of between $500 and $1,200 and temps something less. According to a tipster, Stern wrote:
In the almost five years that I have been at NPR, we have swung between periods of financial success and periods of financial limitations. Throughout this time, whether in periods of relative prosperity or periods of relative paucity, we have always tried to do more with less, to stretch each dollar to its limit. That should always be part of our culture and part of our duty to the stations and listeners who support us.
But when we have tightened our spending belts, we have also asked each of you to personally share in that effort. Last year for instance, anticipating continuing challenging financial circumstances, we provided relatively modest wage increases to employees. In the intervening six months, our financial circumstances have changed for the better - and not just because of the Kroc gift. Therefore, on behalf of the Compensation Committee, I am announcing that all regular employees will be awarded sometime in the next two weeks a one-time special bonus. The bonus will be equal to 1% of your current salary, with the caveat that there will be a minimum bonus of $500 and a maximum bonus of $1200. We also want to recognize the contribution of temporary employees who often provide critical support at NPR and have developed a separate, more moderate recognition plan for those temporary employees who have worked at least 100 hours during the course of this fiscal year. In total, the bonuses will come to approximately $700,000.