A new report says Fox News is cutting staff, but the scope and reasoning for the layoffs are still under debate.
According to a report in Rolling Stone, Fox News dissolved its investigative unit on Friday.
The report linked the layoffs to the $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, which had sued Fox for defamation.
“The rank and file journalists are getting let go. Meanwhile, upper management are sitting pretty while they are the execs responsible for the Dominion debacle. We are the sacrificial lambs,” Rolling Stone quoted one source it said was an unnamed Fox journalist.
“Yes, [layoffs] have happened and continue to happen,” the magazine quoted a second source as saying.
“I think producers, management, et cetera [are being laid-off],” a former Fox staffer whose name was not used is quoted as saying. “They are trying to get money off the books before June 30. They have to save money because of the [Dominion] lawsuit.”
A report in the New York Daily News offered a different take.
Changes to the investigative unit have “nothing to do with Dominion,” according to what a “source with knowledge of the situation” told the Daily News.
The Daily News report said the unit was reorganized, not scrapped.
Will Fox News be able to weather this storm?
“There were three employees in the seven-person unit impacted, while four employees were offered different positions within the company,” the Daily News quoted its source as saying.
The source said the investigative unit’s staff had largely been working in other areas and had not been conducting investigations.
Conversely, the Rolling Stone report hinted at tensions within Fox News.
“The outrage is that Suzanne Scott and Maria Bartiromo keep their jobs. Meanwhile, the journalists get let go. We are in shock,” one of its employee sources was quoted as saying, referring to the Fox News CEO and a high-profile host.
Fox News has been reeling since it pulled host Tucker Carlson off the air last month. According to a report in Variety, dumping Carlson was an unwritten promise from Fox News to Dominion.
Citing what it called “multiple sources with knowledge of the conversation,” Variety said Carlson learned the reason why his show was canceled on April 26 during a conversation with a Fox News board member.
The board member, who was not named, informed Carlson that booting him was an unwritten condition of the settlements.
The Variety report said that Dominion told Fox that if it refused to make Carlson collateral damage, the settlement was off and Fox News could take its chances in a jury trial. Dominion and Fox have pushed back against the claim.