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Colorado Public Radio lays off classical host amid continuing fundraising campaign

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Colorado Public Radio is reporting that it's collecting almost $700,000 of late -- a sum that goes a long way toward meeting the $1.6 million goal established by the service's "Drive to Thrive" fundraising campaign. But money woes remain. After dropping plans to expand the Colorado Matters news program and launch a daily talk show, CPR is laying off Stephanie Wendt, a classical-music host based in Minnesota. A note credited to CPR executives Max Wycisk and Sean Nethery blames this action on "the economic climate," and points out that the service has also saved cash by "not filling two vacant positions in the news department; not hiring a new VP of New Media and Technology; and the half million dollars in budget cuts made in January."

Read the entire memo after the jump.

Colorado Public Radio memo:

Date: Tue, May 5, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Subject: Update from Max and Sean

This is to let you know that, because of the economic climate, we are eliminating the evening classical music announcer position as of July 1, and are laying off Minnesota-based host Stephanie Wendt at that time.

For nearly four years, Stephanie has been a valuable member of our classical music team, first with the Classical Public Radio Network, and for the last year maintaining continuity as we transitioned to the local KVOD. We will very much miss her many contributions to the organization, and are sorry to lose her. But we are convinced that our first-rate team, under the leadership of Karla Walker, will be able to make up for this loss through added production while maintaining their usual high standards in this difficult time.

This change reflects our ongoing need to address Colorado Public Radio's continued financial situation. A reminder of other steps already taken: not filling two vacant positions in the news department; not hiring a new VP of New Media and Technology; and the half million dollars in budget cuts made in January.

If you need to discuss this with Max, Sean or Dan Murphy, please don't hesitate to let one of us know.

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