With millions of Americans out of work, it is clear that even successful companies are not immune to the economic impact of COVID-19.
Fox News, for example, has announced widespread layoffs as it continues a corporate restructuring plan amid the continuing public health crisis, as reported by Mediaite.
Hair and makeup departments hit hard
Despite its continued ratings lead over other cable news channels, Fox News saw its revenue decrease by about 4% due to a drop in advertising caused by either the pandemic or leftist boycotts against the company and its on-air personalities.
The cuts are said to impact primarily those working in the network’s hair and makeup departments.
Partially caused by the increased use of remote interviews amid COVID-19 shutdowns, on-air guests will no longer be receiving hair and makeup services before their appearances, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Staff and contributors appearing on the network, however, will not be affected by the latest round of staffing cuts. In total, about 3% of the company’s workforce is expected to be impacted.
Fox News will reportedly provide severance packages to those being permanently laid off.
“A streamlined multi-platform organization”
The network issued a statement confirming the shift. “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,” it read.
Going forward, the company cited a desire to “maintain a low density in our offices for those employees whose jobs do require them to be on site.”
Last month, CEO Lachlan Murdoch sent out an employee memo preparing staff for remote work to continue for the foreseeable future across many departments.
“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, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Unfortunately, layoffs have become a common response in the age of COVID-19 — but with the unemployment rate steadily dropping, reports like this one will hopefully soon be the exception and not the rule.