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Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch announced on Wednesday that 700 senior members of the company would forego or take reduced salaries amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic so that other employees can continue to receive salaries and “FOX comes out of this crisis as an even stronger company” when things get back to normal.
“While we don’t know exactly when we will return to normal and full operations across the company, we have decided to take several new actions to ensure that we remain strong and are well-positioned when this crisis recedes,” Murdoch wrote in a memo to staffers. “To that end, the most senior members of our company will be reducing their salaries so that, to the greatest extent possible, we are able to protect our full-time colleagues with salary and benefit continuation during the period we are most affected by the crisis.”
Murdoch then detailed the plans, effective immediately.
“The company’s Named Executive Officers -- Rupert Murdoch, John Nallen, Viet Dinh, Steve Tomsic and I -- will forego our salaries through September 30, 2020. The rest of my direct-report executive team will reduce their salaries by 50% through the same period,” Murdoch wrote.
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, FOX Television Stations CEO Jack Abernathy, FOX Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier and FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks are among the executives taking the 50 percent reduction.
The company also announced that from May 1 through July 31, employees at the vice president level and above would see a salary reduction of 15 percent.
“Collectively, these salary reductions will impact about 700 of our colleagues. And we are suspending compensation increases throughout the company, including for the Board of Directors,” Murdoch wrote, adding that the steps have been taken with two goals in mind.
“First, we want to do all we can to continue providing your salary and benefits throughout this crisis. Your commitment to this company and its culture, many of you for decades, makes me enormously proud,” Murdoch told staffers. “Second, I am focused on ensuring FOX comes out of this crisis as an even stronger company that will be even better positioned to inform and entertain the country in the days ahead.”
Murdoch announced last month that Fox Corporation would pay full-time employees’ health insurance premiums and waive copay for telemedicine during the pandemic. He also expressed gratitude for staffers who have helped others during the coronavirus pandemic.
“For example, we have retained and redeployed our Studio Lot food services staff, and these colleagues are now preparing 2,000 meals per day for those in need in the LA community. And some costume department staff have used their time and skills to make masks for fellow colleagues to help them work more safely,” Murdoch wrote. “If you would like to use your work time volunteering, please be in touch with your human resource manager so they can better understand what capacity you have to volunteer, and how the company can assist you in that work. I want to thank our colleagues for what they have done already to help others, and for the good work for our communities that I know is ahead.”
Murdoch ended his memo by telling staffers FOX would “emerge from this challenge stronger, more grateful for our blessings and more indispensable than ever” because of courage and a renewed sense of purpose.
FOX has also launched CoronavirusNOW.com, a free-to-use website featuring breaking news, livestream updates and exclusive interviews with health officials.