The artificial tree outside of the News Corp. building that houses Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post caught fire shortly after midnight, police said.
Photos and videos from the scene show the fully decorated tree going up in flames.
Fox News host Shannon Bream announced the fire to viewers as firefighters were working to put it out.
Firefighters extinguished the flames, and no injuries were reported.
A 49-year-old man who police said was homeless was arrested on charges including criminal mischief, arson and trespassing. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.
Police said the man had a lighter, but it was unclear whether any accelerant was used.
The tree had been ceremonially lit during a network Christmas special on Sunday. Its charred remains were being dismantled Wednesday.
“We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us,” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott told network staffers in a memo. Scott said a new tree would be installed “as a message that there can be peace, light and joy even during a dark moment like this.”
A lighting ceremony will be held for the new tree, Scott said.