Fox News To Implement Telecommuting, Other Measures For Employees Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Fox News To Implement Telecommuting, Other Measures For Employees Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Fox News Media is taking steps to reduce its in-office staff at its New York headquarters and bureaus, with a telecommuting policy starting on Monday, out of concern over the spread of the coronavirus.

In a memo to employees, CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace wrote that there are no cases in their offices or bureaus, but are taking “cautious and prudent measures” across the network.

Managers will be advising employees of whether they have to ability to do their jobs remotely.

“As a multimedia news organization, this is not possible for every unit, but our goal is to limit personal interaction, reduce the chance of exposure wherever possible and maintain the health and safety of those employees who are unable to telecommute,” Scott and Wallace wrote.

Fox News Media already has been taking a series of other measures that include reducing in-studio bookings, with some shows directed to rely on remotes or Skype. The network also has prohibited all non-essential business travel since last Monday, and some departments have been asked to cancel in-person meetings and summits. The audience for The Greg Gutfield Show also has been canceled, and there will be no audience for Fox & Friends for the foreseeable future. The network also canceled its upfront presentation to advertisers, which was to have been held on March 24.

Scott and Wallace also indicated that there would be some programming changes made given the new restrictions.

Other news networks and broadcast divisions also have taken steps to reduce employee travel and their in-office workforces.

On Wednesday, CBS News said that it was shutting some of its broadcast facilities in New York on Thursday and Friday after two employees tested positive for the coronavirus. NBC News and MSNBC also is implementing new telecommuting policies, encouraging employees to work from home if they will have limited impact on production.

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