Fox Corp. delays return to office work until April 2021 – The Hollywood Reporter

As state and local authorities across the United States report an increase in COVID-19 cases in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, Fox Corp. is delaying its plan to have most employees return to work in offices until at least April 2021.

In a memo to staffers on Friday, CEO and chairman Lachlan Murdoch said the media conglomerate had revised previous guidelines for a return to work from January until later in the spring.

“We were hoping the trajectory of the pandemic would be such that we could begin our reopening in January 2021,” Murdoch wrote. “However, with cases continuing to increase, we have postponed our next possible Phase 1 reopening date to April 2021 at the earliest.”

Fox Corp., made up of about 9,000 employees at Fox News, Fox Sports and Fox Entertainment, as well as local television stations and the Tubi streaming service, is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan.

“With most employees continuing to work remotely until at least the end of March, we are able to maintain a low density in our offices for employees whose jobs require them to be onsite,” Murdoch noted.

The company, formed from assets not included in the sale of much of 21st Century Fox to Disney for $71.3 billion, has seen a notable increase in advertising revenue from its cable networks unit this year, driven by political advertising during a presidential campaign.

But, in Fox Corp. on Nov. 3, the company detailed the economic toll of the pandemic, noting that COVID-19 “caused some of the company’s advertisers to cut spending” this year, as overall ad revenue fell 7% in 2019. three months before September 30.

Fox News suffered a series of layoffs in September and Fox Sports, hit by cancellations of live sporting events, downsized in July. The company, which implemented pay cuts for 700 employees in April, reinstated pay for those employees in August.

In his Nov. 20 memo, Murdoch added that Fox Corp. will cover “health insurance premiums for full-time employees for the entire 2021 calendar year. In March 2020, we began paying health insurance premiums for full-time employees and will now continue to do so. do until December 31, 2021.”

Jose C. Birney