Lou Dobbs self-quarantines after Fox Business staffer contracts coronavirus, NBC News employee dies

The growing legions of home office workers gained a news-media warrior in the person of Fox Business host Lou Dobbs. Dobbs is in self-quarantine as a precaution after a member of his production team tested positive for coronavirus.

All of Dobbs’ team are self-isolating at the direction of the network’s medical advisers due to their potential exposure to COVID-19.

Shortly before Friday’s broadcast of “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” the news network learned of the unidentified employee’s test result. David Asman filled in for the 74-year-old Dobbs and made the announcement regarding the news at the top of the show.

“Lou is in self-quarantine tonight. We just learned one of his team members has tested positive for COVID-19. We fully support that employee 100 percent, who we all wish a speedy recovery,” said Asman. “Lou feels well. He has no symptoms, but out of an abundance of caution, he and his team are taking the necessary precautions.”

According to a corporate memo from Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace obtained by CNN reporter Oliver Darcy, Dobbs and team will self-quarantine for 14 days. “We are also doing a deep cleaning of all areas affected and will be continuing all our aggressive sanitizing and disinfecting efforts throughout the entire building,” the executives wrote.

“We have led a daily internal executive task force on the Coronavirus since late February with several doctors and have been preparing for this outcome,” they added. “Please be advised that everything necessary has already been activated to manage this outcome.”

It is not clear if Dobbs will appear on camera from home during his absence from the studio.

Just hours earlier, Fox Business announced they were trimming and adjusting programming due to coronavirus concerns. The Dobbs program was slated to move from 7 pm to 5 pm and then be repeated at 7 pm.

FBN:am” and “Bulls & Bears” are being pulled from production temporarily, reducing daily programming by two hours, joining previously halted prime-time programs hosted by Trish Regan and Lisa Kennedy.

“While FBN will remain committed to delivering up to the minute breaking business news and analysis, our first priority is the health and safety of our employees,” said Fox Business Network president Lauren Petterson in a statement. “This scaled-back schedule will ensure we continue to deliver critical information to our audience amidst this global pandemic and time of market volatility while helping to fight the further escalation of the coronavirus.”

Earlier in the month, Variety reported that Fox Business executives communicated their desire to employees to “limit personal interaction, reduce the chance of exposure wherever possible and maintain the health and safety of those employees who are unable to telecommute.”

Going forward, FBN’s new schedule will begin with Maria Bartiromo at 6 am, followed by Stuart Varney at 9 am, Neil Cavuto at noon; Making Money at 2 pm, Liz Claman’s “The Claman Countdown” at 3 pm, “After The Bell” at 4 pm, Lou Dobbs at 5 pm, and “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald” at 6 pm, with a repeat of Dobbs’ show at 7.

NBC News staffer a coronavirus victim

A longtime NBC News employee passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus. Network chairman Andy Lack announced the death of 25-year NBC staffer Larry Edgeworth Friday morning.

NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins tweeted that Edgeworth left work a week ago, not feeling well. He then tested positive for COVID-19 and in a matter of days succumbed.


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