UPDATED with photos and Murdoch remarks: “This is a major investment in the future of Fox News and a sign of my unwavering confidence” in “the most important media outlet in America,” 21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch assured staff today as he unveiled plans for a new newsroom at the company’s Manhattan HQ second floor. Check out the photos below.
PREVIOUSLY, May 16: Rupert Murdoch will rally the Fox News troops on Wednesday, unveiling plans to renovate its second-floor newsroom in Manhattan.
All Fox employees are invited to join the exec chairman in Studio F for a presentation to unveil plans for the first major Floor 2 overhaul in two decades, according to the invite, a copy of which was obtained by Deadline. Staffers will get the pep talk in two shifts, to accommodate the crowd.
The event is intended as a venue in which Murdoch will talk about moving the company forward, and its future.
After having been stung by a series of sexual harassment and racial discrimination lawsuits that have seen top executives pink-slipped and ratings magnet Bill O’Reilly put out to pasture, and with MSNBC ratings surging in the wake of Donald Trump White House internecine chaos, the Fox News crew could use the boost.
Fox News eked out a first-place total-viewer finish in primetime this past Monday, but only 2,ooo viewers ahead of MSNBC (2.53M vs. 2.528M). But, FNC finished third in primetime in the news demo, 25-54, with 499K viewers, well
behind CNN’s 608K and MSNBC’s winning 662K viewers. Last week, FNC topped all of cable in primetime and total day in total viewers.
The moving-forward message to staff comes as Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox hopes to take over UK-based broadcaster Sky. It’s unclear whether the recent troubles at Fox News might complicate that plan with Britain’s Ofcom, the regulatory agency that must issue final approval for the acquisition. It has said it will issue a decision on the acquisition on June 20, about two weeks after the recently called British general election.
Six years ago, the Murdochs were forced to withdraw a bid to acquire Sky after a phone-hacking scandal engulfed one of Murdoch’s British tabloids. The incident is widely seen as one of the low points for the powerful media family.