WarnerMedia Limits Staff Travel, Events Worldwide Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Jeff Zucker - Getty-H - 2019

"While some of these protocols may seem inconvenient, they are being taken out of an abundance of caution to keep you all safe," Jeff Zucker told WarnerMedia news and sports employees.

WarnerMedia has extended its guidelines restricting staff travel and events to all its employees worldwide amid growing fears concerning the coronavirus outbreak.

"WarnerMedia has told all its employees to cancel corporate travel, as well as organizing and attending events," a representative for Warner subsidiary TNT Comedy in Germany wrote in an email March 3, canceling an upcoming public screening of one of their new TV shows. 

A WarnerMedia representative said the firm was specifically suspending international and intercontinental travel and limiting intra-continental (inside the U.S., inside Europe etc) travel to business-critical needs.

Jeff Zucker, chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports, sent out a memo on Monday morning laying out a series of new employee guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak.

"Nothing is more important than your well-being," Zucker said in the memo, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "While some of these protocols may seem inconvenient, they are being taken out of an abundance of caution to keep you all safe. It is unclear how long these restrictions will remain in place, but we will continue to communicate regularly as the situation both domestically and globally changes."

Zucker referenced the "unique challenges" faced by news and sports employees. "We will work to be sure that our staffing needs are met, but limit any participants that are not absolutely critical to getting our content out or meeting basic revenue-generating needs," he said, noting upcoming events in the political arena, which include tomorrow's Super Tuesday primaries.

For the time being, all WarnerMedia News and Sports internal meetings "should be conducted via phone or videoconference. Meetings and gatherings that can be put on hold for the time being or canceled altogether, should be."

Domestic travel "should be done only if absolutely necessary," while international travel must be approved by Zucker directly.

Employees assigned to travel for work assignments "will not be required to do so" if they are uncomfortable doing so, he said.

"Unrelated to travel, we are focused on other issues related to keeping you safe at the office, including the cleanliness of our work areas," Zucker said.

The network boss ended the memo by praising his employees. "Thank you for your professionalism, dedication, and patience as we work through this together," he said.