For the most recent installment of our weekly #AskNewser feature, we asked TV news on-air talent and producers for their general thoughts about what working from home has been like as we enter Month 3 of this work-from-home order.
NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent and senior Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell provided us with her thoughts going into the third month of working from home, including not being able to cover a presidential campaign out on the road.
“What’s harder about broadcasting from home is not having the personal interactions and the in-person team work,” Mitchell told TVNewser. “It’s difficult to be this isolated—despite constant conference calls. Worst of all, not being able to cover the rest of the campaign out on the road in a presidential election year.”
Mitchell added, “I miss the fun of daily interactions with my colleagues and crews, and for the first time in decades of covering politics and foreign policy, I can’t get out on the campaign trail to interview candidates and voters, or go to the State Department to question the secretary of state, or jump on a plane to cover a big story somewhere in the world. I’m grateful to my producers who are also working from home, and to the amazing technical teams who’ve kept us safely broadcasting from home. But for someone who loves being in the middle of the action and meeting people, I can’t wait to go back to chasing stories in person.”
CBS News correspondent Meg Oliver updated us on working from home, and how she her and her family, which includes husband John, 13-year-old Maria, 11-year-old Tommy and 9-year-old Cormac, are dealing with the new normal:
“It’s hard to imagine we’re entering Month 3! I never thought I’d go live from my front porch while my husband and kids built a tree house in the back drop.
“I was reporting live for CBS This Morning on remote learning and this was our version of “shop class” behind me. Remote learning is so tough, especially with three kids in three different schools. But, I know I have it better than most. I’m able to tag team it all day with my husband. I can run out and do an interview while he takes over for a bit. Or when he jumps on a conference call I try and hold down the fort in between interviews and writing scripts. My 11-year-old son Tommy told me just yesterday, ‘Well, Mom, at least we get to have family dinners every night.’ It warmed my heart because that has been the biggest blessing.”
Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt told us that the network has been very accommodating as she enters her third month of working from home.
“I am broadcasting out of a local studio close to my home and they have made all of us feel safe,” said Earhardt. “Thankfully, we have stayed healthy and enjoyed homeschooling as a family. My daughter’s teacher and classmates Zoom together and we participate in other fun activities, including music at church, ballet and theater. We have enjoyed a relaxed environment. We hurt for the families that have lost loved ones, businesses and jobs. We are grateful to those on the front lines keeping people safe and well.”
Betsy Korona, MSNBC’s executive director of news and NBC News Now (NBC’s streaming news service), told us she still hasn’t totally adapted to this new normal.
“This is the beginning of Week 6 of working from home for me, and truthfully it’s still odd—odd not to see colleagues in the editorial morning meeting or have drive-by brainstorming sessions or hash out scripts face-to-face,” she said. “However, it’s led to an incredible new level of innovation, communication and coordination, the results of which you can see every day on MSNBC and NBC News Now with dozens of reporters deployed across the country and around the world.”
Korona added, “Personally, after a couple weeks of self-isolating in Brooklyn, I decamped to my best friend’s house to spend weekdays with her and her three kids. She’s a partner at a major law firm; I run MSNBC and NBC News Now newsgathering, and we’ve got a 6-year-old, 4-year-old and 18-month-old zooming underfoot. There’s some screaming, but also a lot of snuggling and laughter, which helps relieve the stress. I’m grateful to spend this time with people I treasure.”