Major changes are underway behind the scenes at Fox News.
The cable news network is cutting its staff dramatically, with firings primarily concentrated on the makeup and hair departments, as Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
The network shifts its focus
Announced as part of ongoing restructuring efforts, on-air guests will no longer receive hair and makeup services from the company prior to their appearances. Fox News Channel personalities, however, will not be impacted by the change.
As Fox News shifts more of its attention to streaming services, such as Fox Nation, the downsizing move is seen as a step in that general corporate direction.
Overall, the cuts are expected to impact less than 3% of the company’s workforce.
Additionally, the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic were also cited as a contributing factor, particularly as an increased number of interviews are now being conducted remotely.
Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch sent a memo to employees last month advising them that remote work is likely to span well into next year for most staff members.
“While we understand the desire to return to our pre-coronavirus ‘normal’ and see our friends and colleagues in person, our approach to fully reopening facilities is guided by your health and safety,” he wrote. “The rising rates of positive cases in areas where we have a significant presence coupled with evolving restrictions and best practices around the country are impacting and postponing our planned companywide return to work efforts this fall.”
“A streamlined multiplatform organization”
In its own statement confirming the latest shift, Fox News said that it “has evolved into a streamlined multiplatform organization” and will be “realigning several functions and restructuring various divisions in order to position all of our businesses for ongoing success.”
The staffing cutbacks are apparently not in response to a slide in the ratings. As Bloomberg noted, Fox News remains the prime-time cable news leader with Nielson ratings placing total viewers at an average of 3.28 million.
That figure is enough to match CNN and MSNBC prime-time numbers combined.
Even corporate boycotts of popular host Tucker Carlson’s weeknight program — including advertising pullouts by T-Mobile and Disney, among others — have not hurt the company’s bottom line, a Fox News spokesperson told Deadline earlier this year.