Fox Revamps New York Newsroom to Keep Pace With Digital Demands

(Bloomberg) -- Fox News is overhauling its newsroom in New York and hiring more reporters as the country’s most-watched cable network tries to adapt to the increasing demands of digital journalism.

An entire floor at the Fox News headquarters at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan will be transformed into an open-concept office space for journalists, according to a statement Wednesday. The previous newsroom was in the basement of the building, and the change will literally bring reporters and editors out into the open. The new hires will help broaden coverage, the company said, without providing details.

Though the network has maintained its lead in the cable-TV ratings, the move helps Fox keep pace with rivals like CNN, which has been investing more in digital and non-news programming to capture younger viewers and readers online. CNN last year told the Wall Street Journal it planned to hire 200 people to work on mobile and video content.

The office makeover also gives Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire who controls Fox News parent 21st Century Fox Inc., a chance to retool the company amid internal strife. The network has already ousted Roger Ailes, the co-founder and chairman of Fox News, and Bill O’Reilly, the network’s most popular host, amid sexual-harassment allegations. The company, meanwhile, is facing pressure from analysts to maintain its relevance with younger audiences, as the median age of viewers is about 65.

“This is a major investment in the future of Fox News and a sign of my unwavering confidence,” Murdoch said.

Midtown Revamp

The new newsroom, to be unveiled in early 2018, will allow reporters to more quickly appear on air during breaking news situations, the company said.

Just ahead of November’s election night, Fox unveiled “the most beautiful television studio” ever, according to anchor Bill Hemmer, in a post on the Fox News website. Boasting a 29-foot ceiling, Studio F has 46 digital screens, a 30-foot-wide video wall, under a 528-square foot “video chandelier.”

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