The head of Fox News Media said Friday that employees who have been working remotely for several weeks may be able to return to their offices in May, a signal that the company wants to return to normal operations as much as possible amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Suzanne Scott, the CEO of Fox News Media, said in a memo that the company, part of Fox Corporation, “will be targeting Monday, May 4th for a possible return to work and we will update everyone on that over the next few weeks.” In recent days, Scott has lowered staffing levels in the company’s New York and Washington, D.C. offices to “to only the minimum number of employees needed to execute our content.”
A person familiar with the matter characterized any employee return plans as “fluid,” and noted executives are still working out details. Not all employees would return at once, this person says, and it is possible that groups of staffers may return in stages. “I’m using the word ‘target'” for the May date, Scott said during a call with employees Friday “because as we all know this is an evolving and changing crisis, Sometimes by the day and some days by the hour.”
Scott said that workers deemed essential would be given thermometers and asked to check their temperature before coming to work. Based on medical advice, she said, “anyone with a temperature above 100.4°F should not be reporting to work.”
Scott praised employees for coping with big changes in the company’s programming at both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. “Despite a scaled back footprint and a dramatic transition to a remote workforce, we’ve continued to produce some of the most enterprising and informative coverage, from providing live overnight hours in the early days of the crisis to last week’s virtual town hall with the Coronavirus Presidential task force in the Rose Garden, to transforming flagship programs across both linear networks to remote makeshift studios, we have remained nimble in an incredibly fast-paced environment,” she said in the memo.
She said Fox News had given Feeding America and presented a donation of $1 million to their COVID-19 Response Fund.