NPR will need to cut at least $10 million from the current fiscal year ending next Sept. 30, the network's chief executive, John Lansing, announced Wednesday, due to a sharp drop in revenue from sponsors.

Lansing told staffers in a memo that he intended to avoid layoffs, but would be forced to severely curtail hiring, amounting to what he described as "close to a total hiring freeze."

The network will also sharply cut back discretionary spending and non-essential travel. The $10 million cut constitutes approximately 3% of NPR's current annual budget.

Yet he noted that he recognized the strain that a near-freeze on hiring would put on NPR's current journalists and their non-newsroom colleagues.

"It means we won't have the skills and support of the people who would have been in the roles that must remain vacant," Lansing wrote.

Among the casualties: Lansing said he would slow down the search for a chief content officer, a new position that would be over the network's news and programming leaders.

On Wednesday, CNN Chairman Chris Licht told the network's staff that long-planned cuts are starting. On-air contributors and full-time employees will be among those who will lose their jobs, he confirmed.

Lansing also said NPR would achieve savings through slowing down or reviewing capital expenditures. In the interview, he defended an $12 million renovation of NPR's New York City bureau