In Profile: Cavuto, Heinrich, Rivera, Harper, Mitchell

By A.J. Katz Comment

Neil Cavuto is heading back to the studio tomorrow for the first time since March to anchor FBN’s election night coverage.

Cavuto spoke with People magazine earlier about his comeback.

On the duration of FBN’s coverage: “It could be eight hours, nine, 10 hours, who knows. Four years ago, I think it was something like 10 or 12 hours if memory serves me right. It went on and on and on. But I’m ready for it,” Cavuto said.

Cavuto, as many know, has multiple sclerosis, underwent triple bypass heart surgery in 2016 and is in remission from stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

On precautions he’s taking in returning to the studio: “I’m a little extra cautious about this than maybe a lot of people because I’m at target for all the stuff that could possibly make you vulnerable to Covid-19,” he said. “You just don’t know. I don’t get a cavalier or arrogant attitude with this. More than 230,000 Americans are dead and more than a million worldwide are dead. There are millions more, who’ve dealt with this in hospitalizations. You don’t take this lightly.”

FNC correspondents Jacqui Heinrich, Madeleine Rivera and a number of woman correspondents from the broadcast and cable news landscape spoke to Harper’s Bazaar about covering the 2020 campaign in a virtual and socially distanced environment?

On returning to the field: “I kind of have this always-at-work brain, and it was always a challenge, but once you finally do stop working, you might move from one end of the couch to the other,” said Heinrich. “And there’s no real boundary between, what’s your work side of the couch and what’s your TV side of the couch? I’m very happy to be back in the field. I’m glad that things are ramping up now.”

Rivera added she thinks there’s a lot more pressure now than there previously had been: “And obviously, as a journalist, you should triple-check everything. I think now there’s just a little more pressure, because everything moves so fast with Twitter and a wrong tweet can suddenly go in a tailspin and … create its own life. So I triple-check everything before I tweet anything. That I think is a bigger demand. I look at that a little more closely. When it comes to the basics of the job, though, and just double-sourcing everything, triple-checking, those don’t change.”

ABC News correspondent Averi Harper is also among the women featured in the Harper’s Bazaar story, saying she had been traveling the country, covering the campaign almost until the day before everything shut down in mid-March.

“I was in Cleveland, supposed to be covering Bernie Sanders‘s rally. Joe Biden was also supposed to have a rally that night as well,” she said. “Both canceled after the governor said, ‘No more gatherings of more than 250 people. Even at that point, there were still rumblings about coronavirus, but we were still in rooms with thousands of people every single day. I was always with Bernie Sanders, and his crowds were large. And then days later, everything was completely different. I was reduced to covering things from my couch. That’s what I’ve been doing ever since. Sometimes I sit at my kitchen table, but most times it’s my couch. It’s been a complete change from what I was doing before, where I was on a plane twice a day, sleeping at different hotels every night, following the campaigns. Now I’ve settled more into a routine.”

CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell: “I have Lysol wipes, on Lysol wipes, on Lysol wipes. Also, I just tell the interviewee, ‘Hey, if you are more comfortable keeping your mask on, definitely do that.’ And you also have to ask them, and I don’t think people get offended by this question, ‘Have you seen any symptoms? You haven’t felt like you’ve had a temperature or anything lately, right?'”

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