More Newsrooms Practice On-Air Social Distancing, Work From Home Model

By Stephanie Tsoflias Siegel 

Monday morning is looking different for a lot of TV news journalists across the country.

At the more than 70 Sinclair stations, MMJs and photographers will be working remotely and, during newscasts, anchors will be sitting at least six feet from one another. It’s all in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In a memo obtained by TVSpy, Sinclair’s VP of news Scott Livingston outlined protocol for employees. Those protocols include spreading out employees in the newsroom, not seating anchors and producers together, and assigning live trucks in a way that will lessen the likelihood that crews would have to drive together.

On Sinclair-owned Baltimore Fox station WBFF this morning, anchors Tom Rodgers and Megan Gilliland sat separately. “Tom and I are not sitting next to each other because of social distancing. And we’re doing it in our newsroom to help stop the spread of the coronavirus,” said Gilliland at the top of the 7 a.m. hour.

And in Los Angeles, Nexstar station KTLA, has asked most of its digital team to work from home.

In the meantime, reporters in the field across the country are dealing with pushback from viewers who blame the media for creating panic. Something they say is making their jobs even harder during a very difficult time.

“To all the reporters and photogs not working from home, going out to report on #coronavirus.. and still getting yelled at and called “professional liars” like we just did… you’re doing great sweetie,” posted KABC reporter Veronica Miracle.

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