Fox Business Network plans to trim two more hours of its daily programming schedule, the latest in a series of maneuvers by news organizations amid an intense cycle related to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Fox Corporation-owned outlet will temporarily cease production of two programs – “FBN am” at 5 a.m. and “Bulls & Bears” at 5 p.m. – while moving one of its highest-rated shows, “Lou Dobbs Tonight” to the 5 p.m. hour. A repeat of Dobbs’ daily show will air instead at 7 p.m. The interim Fox Business schedule will run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fox Business previously suspended two primetime shows, “Trish Regan Primetime” and “Kennedy,” citing a desire to emphasize coverage of the current news cycle.
“While FBN will remain committed to delivering up to the minute breaking business news and analysis, our first priority is the health and safety of our employees,” said Lauren Petterson, president of Fox Business Network, in a prepared statement. “This scaled back schedule will ensure we continue to deliver critical information to our audience amidst this global pandemic and time of market volatility while helping to fight the further escalation of the coronavirus.”
The moves come after Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott articulated a plan to cut back on the number of people actually working at the company’s New York headquarters while devoting resources to the coronavirus story. Some of the unit’s opinion hosts have made remarks in the recent past dismissing the potential severity of the outbreak, but Scott has emphasized the story as it was upgraded to a global pandemic. Fox News has added new original hours overnight, enlisted more medical professionals for its roster of contributors and launched digital news products devoted to getting information to viewers.
The network said the two anchors of “FBN am,” Cheryl Casone and Lauren Simonetti, will contribute to the network’s daytime programming across time slots. David Asman, host of “Bulls & Bears,” will serve as a substitute host of “Making Money” at 2 p.m. The hour’s regular host, Charles Payne has opted to stay in self-quarantine with his wife at their home.
Fox Business’ new schedule will be kicked off by Maria Bartiromo at 6 a.m., followed by Stuart Varney at 9 a.m; Neil Cavuto at noon; Making Money at 2 p.m.; Liz Claman’s “The Claman Countdown” at 3 p.m.; After The Bell at 4 p.m., Lou Dobbs at 5 p.m. and “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald” at 6 p.m., with a repeat of Dobbs’ show at 7.