Fox News Media Plans Staff Reductions in Restructuring Effort

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Fox News Media expects to cut less than 3% of its overall staff as the unit, the financial engine of parent Fox Corporation, works to make its operations more efficient after a period of expansion.

“As Fox News Media has evolved into a streamlined multi-platform organization, we are realigning several functions and restructuring various divisions in order to position all of our businesses for ongoing success,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. The number of people affected is said to be fewer than 80, and the move will include positions of all ranks, except for on-air anchors, reporters and contributors.

Many media companies have had to grapple with tougher economics put in place by the coronavirus pandemic, but Fox News’ move is said to be based on a desire to operate more efficiently as the company has, under CEO Suzanne Scott, grown to encompass new digital and broadband operations.

Fox News’ hair and makeup staffers are said to be the most affected, with the function of that operation having changed most noticeably in recent months. Guests will no longer receive make-up and hair services, which are being relegated to anchors and contributors. All affected employees are said to be receiving enhanced severance and benefits packages.

In Fox Corporation’s most recent fiscal quarter, the company saw a 4% decline due to a slump in advertising, sports telecasts and scripted programming – all results from the pandemic. But Lachlan Murdoch, the company’s executive chairman and CEO, said during a call with investors that Fox News’ operations were robust. “We are pacing calendar 2020 to have our highest-rated prime time year in network history, with total viewers up 39% over 2019,” he said at the time. “Our content programs are now routinely notching around 4 million viewers a night.”

Fox News Media has trimmed and realigned operations in the past. In 2017, the company combined the graphics departments from Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network to create a new media production unit.

[Updated, 9:05 AM]

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