As panic over the Omicron coronavirus variant grips the media and liberal enclaves across the country, cable news giant CNN has decided to shutter its offices to all but essential employees for the time being, as the Washington Examiner reports.
According to a memo issued by network president Jeff Zucker over the weekend, the only workers who will be permitted to enter company facilities will be those necessary to keep productions rolling or carry out duties that are critical to broadcast continuity.
Alterations will be made to existing network spaces and production staff will return to utilizing “flash studios” capable of remote operation with smaller staffing levels, the Examiner further noted.
Zucker explained his rationale for the move by saying, “We are doing this out of an abundance of caution. And it will also protect those who will be in the office by minimizing the number of people who are there.”
A source familiar with the situation at the left-leaning network indicated to the Wall Street Journal that a tentative January return date has been set.
CNN is not the only cable news network in the throes of a return to more stringent COVID-19 mitigation measures, as The Hill reports that employees of Fox News in New York City will be required to have received at least one vaccine jab by Dec. 27 or else they will be unable to work onsite at the company’s Manhattan headquarters.
In addition, Fox is ending the previously available option for employees to submit to periodic testing if they preferred not to receive the coronavirus vaccines, the outlet noted.
Though CNN’s shift toward having limited staff on-site appears to stem from concerns about the speed with which the Omicron variant is spreading, the changes at Fox News are, according to an internal network memo, owing to a draconian vaccine mandate put in place by soon-to-be-former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, as the Washington Post reported.
As the Fox memo noted, “The timing and ramifications of this mandate are very unfortunate,” but as the entire pandemic experience has put into stark relief, the costs – financial and otherwise – of doing business in liberal-run cities such as New York are, for many, unbearably high.