Broadcasters and Producers Share the Ups and Downs of Working From Home

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel Comment

The novel coronavirus has forced many broadcasters to work from home, which has required a major adjustment for many in the business.

On Monday, our sister blog TVNewser collected a number of tips from network journalists who have had to adjust to the new reality.

Here is a sneak peak of what their new reality looks like from their own homes or apartments:

A number of CNBC anchors, hosts and correspondents have been broadcasting from home, including Squawk Box co- anchor Becky Quick. Hereʼs what she said about her new routine:

The weirdest part about my new morning routine is the silence. I come downstairs around 4 30 a.m. and start up the computer, turn on the lights, fire up the iPad camera and try to get everything looking as best as possible. I put on my makeup and do my hair as best as possible. I get my hot water and coffee ready, and read up. Normally thereʼs a whole crew around doing all of that, not to mention my co-anchors and the early guests on set. But now itʼs just me, hoping that the technical stuff all works properly. Once the show actually gets going, everything seems fine. But that silence in the early morning is unnerving.

The other thing is just having to rely on myself to troubleshoot. When we lose the connection, I have to hop up out of the chair and reboot the iPad, then call the control room and ask them to try to take over the camera remotely again. One day last week the battery died on the key light. I panicked, then went into MacGyver mode. I dragged a tall lamp from another room and leaned it over a folding chair so it was pointing at my face. But that was way too harsh, so I got wax paper and duct taped it over the lamp to soften the light. It actually worked pretty well!

ABC News foreign correspondent James Longman recently returned to his home base in London after assignments in Italy. Upon arriving in the U.K. he was asked by authorities to self-quarantine. Hereʼs his advice:

The main things I need are my iPhone with the LiveU smart app installed, a battery-powered LED light, a light stand, a JOBY GorillaPod, a lapel mic and an adaptor for the mic to my iPhone. For my IFB, I need my iPhone, a regular IFB amp, an earpiece and a mini-jack adaptor to get the IFB amp to my phone.

To set up for my live shots, I attach my iPhone with the tripod to the light stand, just below the light. Then I dial in. I also keep a small chair behind my chair, where I store my IFB amp and second phone. Then Iʼm ready to go live! Itʼs actually super easy and quite fun to be in charge of how it all works.

There are also a few more items that would have been nice to incorporate to enhance the setup. Some foam padding to put behind my phone, to avoid echo, would be great. Another light to put behind me on the wall or on a bookcase would make the shot look a little better.

CBS This Morning has been broadcasting from The Ed Sullivan Theater in recent days, but the showʼs correspondents have been checking in from various venues.

Vlad Duthiers and his team have been broadcasting the showʼs #WhatToWatch segment from his apartment.

When asked for his initial reaction to being asked to work from home, Duthiers said, “I was excited because I believe that when the news cycle is moving this rapidly and people are unsure of what each day will bring, seeing the familiar faces of those who report the news every day can be comforting.” He added, “And if, on top of that, they get a glimpse of you outside of the studio in your home, I think the connection between the correspondent—whether itʼs me from my living room surrounded by the books I read or Meg Oliver at her kitchen table surrounded by her family—grows even stronger with our audience whoʼs in the very same situation that we are in.”

For more tips and insight into TVNewser life at home, check out the full article here.

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