Fox News Layoffs Keep Coming In Wake Of $787.5 Million Lawsuit Settlement

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The fallout from Fox News’ $767.5 million settlement to Dominion continues to shake things up at the top-rated cable news organization, which was sued by the voting box company after peddling election fraud claims following the 2020 election. The settlement is a historic one, and according to Fox News employees, it's burning a metaphorical hole in the organization’s pocket. It appears the company is rectifying the situation with employee layoffs, and the latest reports point to many reporters falling victim to the large payout.

According to employees who spoke to Rolling Stone, Fox News has laid off a group of journalists from its investigative unit, and it's claimed that the organization has nearly dissolved the entire unit at this point. Allegedly, this is a cost-saving measure to help balance the loss of funds being directed to the settlement with Dominion. But is that actually what's happening?

Many staffers believe so, stating that there's some outrage stemming from the idea that high-salaried individuals like Suzanne Scott and Maria Bartiromo are keeping their jobs while lower-tiered employees are the ones losing out. Scott is the current CEO of Fox News, and Bartiromo is an opinion host that was named in the Dominion lawsuit. Employees believe that Fox is trying to get "money off the books" before June 30. Fox News denies these claims, saying that the reporters weren't even laid off, but rather "reassigned" to different departments at the network.

Fox News is denying the connective tissue between the incidents, claiming that the layoffs are independent from the settlement. For context, many hosts on Fox News spread a number of false claims of widespread voter fraud occurring during the 2020 election, strongly suggesting that a fraudulent election was the reason Joe Biden won the presidency in favor of Donald Trump. The hosts pointed to voter systems provided by Dominion to be the reason for the fraud. Dominion sued the news organization for defamation, and just as it was set to go to trial months later, Fox News agreed to a $787.5 million settlement, allegedly to avoid having certain pieces of in-house texts and emails made public.

The layoffs have added to tensions being strained at the news channel. Investigative journalists who work at Fox News operate completely separate from Fox News opinion hosts. The aforementioned journalists are held to higher traditional standards that are expected for a news organization, while the swath of opinion hosts have less of a bar to clear in that regard. Thus, to the unidentified employees speaking out on the matter, the opinion hosts who aired the election fraud claims resulting in multiple lawsuits aren't facing hardships, while the reporters are said to be the ones bearing the punishment.

Layoff reports come amidst a number of changes occurring at Fox News. Opinion host Tucker Carlson parted ways with his former employer in the wake of the lawsuit, allegedly as a result of redacted texts and secret recordings in which Carlson
shared various thoughts and opinions that would have reflected very poorly on the company. While certain employees sourced by Rolling Stone claim that Carlson’s absence is ultimately a positive for the workplace environment, Fox has experienced a slip in ratings as a result. The pundit is reportedly eyeing other outlets for new shows, for the point when his non-compete contract clauses for Fox News are no longer relevant.

While Tucker Carlson’s exit shook things up and sparked rumors about changes to the primetime schedule, opinion hosts like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham currently remain in their established spots. Little is known how the previous settlment or the other ongoing lawsuit(s) will affect the network in the long term, but it does seem quite possible that more changes are on the way.