Fox Business Network (FBN) announced on Friday its plans to remove two additional hours from its daily programming schedule as the coronavirus pandemic continues to prompt unprecedented changes to daily news shows and the way that news is reported.
The change, first reported by Variety, will temporarily cease production of FBN's 5:00 a.m. program, "FBN am" and its 5:00 p.m. offering, "Bulls & Bears."
“While FBN will remain committed to delivering up-to-the-minute breaking business news and analysis, our first priority is the health and safety of our employees,” Fox Business Network president Lauren Petterson said in Friday statement.
"This scaled back schedule will ensure we continue to deliver critical information to our audience amidst this global pandemic and time of market volatility while helping to fight the further escalation of the coronavirus," Petterson added.
"Lou DobbsLouis (Lou) Carl DobbsFormer Trump press aide: We went to Fox News 'to get what we wanted out' Court sets Smartmatic dismissal date on Giuliani, Bartiromo, others Fox News says Smartmatic lawsuit should be dismissed MORE Tonight," which has been the most-watched program in business news for the past 46 months, will air live at 5:00 p.m. in the place of "Bulls & Bears," with the program repeating at its usual time of 7:00 p.m.
The move comes one week after "Trish Regan Primetime" and "Kennedy" temporarily ceased production in an effort to allocate "all resources from both shows for staffing needs during critical market hours," per a network memo issued on March 13.
Also last week, Fox News Channel made several changes to its programming, adding four hours of live programming, including "Fox News @ Night" with Shannon BreamShannon BreamFox News signs book deal with HarperCollins Sen. Capito optimistic that 'real compromise' can be reached in infrastructure plan Buttigieg defends Biden's 'responsible' budget plan amid bipartisan criticism MORE expanding one hour to run until 1 a.m., and chief breaking news correspondent Trace Gallagher anchoring from then until 4 a.m., EDT. The network previously ran repeats from midnight to 4:00 a.m. before coverage of the pandemic warranted the changes.
The network said in the March 13 memo that it was "reducing the staff footprint" at its New York City headquarters, 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 said 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 guests coming in and out of its headquarters.
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.