Many of Fox Sports’ on-air anchors and analysts will take a temporary pay cut, largely in tandem with compensation decreases among top executives at parent company Fox Corporation, which is, like many other media conglomerates, grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on operations.
Fox Corp. said Wednesday that top executives, including Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch, would forego compensation through September 30 as the company seeks to navigate operating conditions made more difficult by the shakier operating environment caused by the spread of the contagion. The Wall Street Journal previously reported pay cuts at Fox Sports.
“Given the unprecedented times we are in, we have asked many of our broadcasters to join our executives in taking a temporary 15% salary reduction. Fox Sports is a family and we are facing these challenges together,” Fox Sports said in a prepared statement.
Sports-TV operations have been left decimated by the pandemic, which has scuttled the ability of major sports leagues to hold games in front of large audiences. Walt Disney, which is also grappling with upset in its theme-park, movie studio and sports-media operations, earlier this month asked 100 of ESPN’s top on-air personnel to take temporary pay cuts of around 15%, in an effort to keep the unit from having to lay off or furlough employees who make significantly less.
Fox Sports’ portfolio includes rights to show Major League Baseball games and Nascar races, as well as Sunday-afternoon and Thursday-night NFL games. MLB has delayed the open of its season and Nascar races are not taking place. The sports world is trying to determine if a regular NFL season will occur in 2020.
Top Fox executives like Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks and Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott are taking 50% cuts in pay.
The cuts at Fox Sports are not likely to extend into Fox News, according to two people familiar with the matter. These people said that Fox News personnel continue to have a full slate of work duties, whereas some Fox Sports personnel are left without as much to do, given the pandemic’s effect on live games.