Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch says the company’s target date to start to reopen offices and facilities in January has been postponed until “no earlier than” April 2021.
The executive delivered the update today in a memo to employees (read it below).
November has brought a mix of news on the coronavirus front in the U.S. Two major vaccines have reported high rates of effectiveness and appear to be on the verge of federal approval and wide distribution. At the same time, though, most states and major cities have imposed strict restrictions as overall infection rates surge to record highs. New York and LA, where many Fox and overall media workers are based, have outperformed much of the country but are nevertheless seeing significant flare-ups and setbacks.
In addition to extending the remote work period, Fox is also going to prolong the period when it pays full-time employees’ health insurance premiums. That benefit will now last through the end of 2021.
Here is Murdoch’s full memo:
As we approach Thanksgiving, I find myself reflecting on the struggles and strengths of the past year. We have endured the personal and professional changes caused by the pandemic, and my thoughts are with the many of you whose lives and families have been personally impacted by COVID-19.
Over the past eight months, our teams have been working together more closely than ever despite the physical separation. It was our hope that the trajectory of the pandemic would be such that we could begin our reopening in January 2021. However, with cases continuing to rise, we have delayed our next possible phase one reopening date to no earlier than April 2021. We made this decision with the well-being of the entire FOX organization in mind. With most employees continuing to work remotely through at least the end of March, we are able to maintain a low density in our offices for those employees whose jobs do require them to be on site.
All of you – whether working on site or remotely – have played an important role in our ability to successfully operate our business and deliver the news, sports and entertainment our viewers count on and need. You have done so much for Fox and we are pleased to show our appreciation by extending our coverage of full-time employees’ health insurance premiums for the entirety of calendar 2021. In March 2020, we began paying full-time employees’ health insurance premiums and will now continue to do so through December 31, 2021.
Thank you for all that you do for our company and each other. Please enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and know that we are here to support you.