Fox News Corp. announced it’s laying off between 50-100 staff members as the network restructures, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” a Fox News spokesperson reportedly told the entertainment magazine.
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The report says between 2-3 percent of the company’s staff will lose their jobs, around 80 in total. Fox News’ parent company employs approximately 9,000 people, and recently fired 50-100 people from its Fox Sports branch.
According to the report, no on-air talent will be included in the layoffs.
Fox Corp. employees are almost all working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, and were told earlier this year that they should expect to work from home until at least 2021.
With the studios largely empty, it is reportedly the hair and makeup departments that will be hit the hardest by the layoffs. While on-air talent will continue to get hair and makeup done, the network will no longer offer the service to on-air guests.
The layoffs aren’t considered a budgetary issue, but a practical one. With the U.S. presidential election and cornavirus pandemic, viewers have turned on cable news networks in record numbers. The conservative Fox News has been one of the most-watched channels on television this year.
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The cable news channel averages 3.28 million viewers during primetime, Nielsen data estimates — more than their largest competitors combined. And Fox Chief Executive Officer Lachlan Murdoch recently said advertising was “strong” at the network.
“We are pacing calendar 2020 to have our highest-rated prime time year in network history, with total viewers up 39% over 2019,” Murdoch told investors. “Our content programs are now routinely notching around 4 million viewers a night.”
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