Fox News pulling overnight repeats, to air live 24-hour coverage of coronavirus pandemic
Fox News said Thursday it is pulling overnight repeats common across all cable news networks and will offer live coverage of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic instead starting on March 16.
The changes that add four hours of live programming include “Fox News @ Night” with Shannon Bream being expanded one hour to run until 1 a.m., with chief breaking news correspondent Trace Gallagher anchoring from then until 4 a.m. EDT. The network’s live broadcast day usually begins with “Fox & Friends First” at that time.
Fox will also add four hours of live programming on weekends with two-hour editions of “Fox Report” with Jon Scott on Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. EDT.
The network said in a memo on Thursday that it will be “reducing the staff footprint” at its New York City headquarters and other bureaus starting Monday, with the goal to “limit personal interaction” due to the coronavirus outbreak and protect the health and safety of its employees.
The directive from CEO Suzanne Scott and president and executive editor Jay Wallace also says studio audiences for live shows such as “The Greg Gutfeld Show” will be canceled while shows will rely more on Skype interviews to limit the number of people coming in and out of its headquarters.
The measures come amid the closures of numerous government buildings and the cancellation of major events across the country over the past 24 hours, along with the suspension of professional sports seasons. Live audiences for multiple national TV shows have also been suspended, while many businesses are advising their employees to work from home for the time being.
Fox News joins a number of other media outlets that have instructed some employees to work from home if possible due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Several programs with live audiences, including NBC’s “Today” show, Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” on CBS, John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” on HBO, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” on Comedy Central and ABC’s “The View” announced they will suspend live studio audiences for the time being.
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