Media Meltdown: Axios Wants Taxpayer Bailout… Fox Execs Take Paycuts… CNN Not Returning To Offices Until At Least September

Axios qualifies for small-business loan amid pandemic

News site Axios announced Wednesday that it had qualified for a small-business loan as part of the economic stimulus passed amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In a blog post, editor Jim VandeHei indicated that the company was suffering financially because of the hit to its events business and the hit to advertising caused by the economic fallout from the pandemic.

“We are in the somewhat unique position of being both a media company, which covers government and business, and a job-creating small business with a national presence. So we wanted to be fully transparent about our thinking,” VandeHei wrote.

“We have taken a financial hit like other small businesses,” he added. “The media, broadly speaking, is getting crushed by the economic fallout.”

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch to Forgo Salary, Execs to Take Pay Cuts

Tiered pay cuts of 15 percent to 50 percent will impact other executives at the media giant.

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch will forgo his salary amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and 700 employees at the company will see pay reductions, the executive said in an internal memo Wednesday.

Fox’s executive officers, which include mogul Rupert Murdoch as well as chief operating officer John Nallen, chief legal officer Viet Dinh and chief financial officer Steve Tomsic will go without pay until Sept. 30 of this year, the memo said.

Lachlan Murduch wrote that the moves were needed 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.”

Rupert Murdoch’s total compensation in fiscal 2019 was $42.1 million while Lachlan took home $42.1 million in total pay, per a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last September.

Salary cuts will hit other Fox executives in tiers, Murdoch added: “The rest of my direct-report executive team will reduce their salaries by 50 percent through the same period. And from May 1 through July 31, 2020, our executives at the VP level and above will reduce their salaries by 15 percent.”

CNN Boss Tells Staff They Will Not Return to Offices Until at Least September

CNN won’t send staffers back into its offices until at least September. In an internal email obtained by The Daily Beast, network chief Jeff Zucker told staff that the vast majority of company staff will “not be returning to the office in any significant way” before the end of summer. “Our expectation is that the rest of you will not return before early September, with a few exceptions in July for newsgathering and some in August, depending on the political conventions,” Zucker said, noting that some dates could be subject to change. “But, to be clear, production of our programs will continue from home, as is it is now, until the end of summer.”

Over the past several weeks, many news outlets have begun to plan out what a physical return to company offices would look like. In a staff-wide email earlier this month, Fox News set May 4 as a target to reopen its offices, though given that New York City is closed down until May 15, the network will almost certainly push back this deadline.