Jun 12, 2023 - Business

NPR's David Schaper calls it quits

Photo of a man interviewing another man with a microphone

David Schaper (L) interviews transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. Photo courtesy of David Schaper.

National Public Radio has not been immune to the economic challenges that have plagued other media companies.

What's happening: Earlier this year, NPR cut 10% of its workforce, while ending several well-liked podcasts. They also offered buyouts to longtime employees, including Chicago bureau reporter David Schaper.

  • He took the buyout; his last day was June 2.

What they're saying: "It's been an amazing run — a wonderful, rewarding, exhilarating and, at times, challenging 20-plus years," Schaper tells Axios.

  • "I still sometimes can't believe my good fortune of working at NPR."

Details: Schaper is a familiar name and voice to NPR listeners, but he is even more well known in Chicago, where he spent most of his career reporting for stations including WBEZ and WBBM.

  • "I covered the corruption trials and convictions of Governors Ryan and Blagojevich," Schaper says.
  • "And there was the time I was interviewing some residents of Englewood when a car stopped in the middle of the street, a guy got out and opened fire on a van that was speeding away."

Context: Schaper is the second high-profile, experienced broadcast journalist to hang up his microphone this month. Longtime Fox 32 political reporter Mike Flannery is retiring after 50 years on the beat.

What's next: "It's a temporary retirement," Schaper says. "In a few months, I'm going to need a new gig."

Justin's thought bubble: David was running the newsroom at WBEZ when I started in 1994. Chicago has great young reporters, but it's always tough when we lose institutional knowledge.


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