Talent, engineers and manufacturers are incorporating new COVID-19 best practices, building out new procedures and trying to keep their spirits up. Here’s what RW is hearing as of Thursday, March 19.
Stations that do find it necessary to continue in-studio work are implementing various new operational rules at a granular level. For instance WLOH in Lancaster, Ohio, informed staff, “There are four sets of headphones for guest use. After use, please do not return them back to the wall rack until they have been thoroughly wiped down with disinfectant.” The station has given each person their own SM7B windscreen. It wipes work surfaces every morning, instituted new glassware policies, is funneling interviewees directly in and out of the production studio without allowing building tours or meetings, and cancelled next month’s open house.
Humor is important during times like these, and broadcast engineers aren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves. Here’s a meme that’s been circulating on social media, posted on Facebook and credited to the McGuire Show.
The New Jersey Broadcasters Association has postponed its annual conference and gala. However, NJBA President Paul Rotella promised in the same announcement: “The show will go on my friends, if not this year, then next year.” The 2021 event is already scheduled for June 15–16.
Manufacturer Wheatstone said it is “scaling our AoIP technology to adapt to unprecedented changes in how stations operate,” and it said it will continue to launch new products, connecting with broadcasters through webcasts and virtual meetings. Internally, while most of its staff are teleworking, “We are maintaining a small crew at the factory to ship products and provide support services as needed.” The company is based in New Bern, N.C.
More stations are getting creative with their coronavirus communications. Steve Huber shared on Facebook that some broadcasters have been showing their solidarity via RDS messages, including the one shown at left, which reads: “We’re all in this together.”
Due to the unfolding situation, international broadcast technology company Worldcast Systems announced its teams will cease traveling, the majority of its staff will now work remotely, and they will no longer allow visitors at their offices in Belfast, Ireland; Miami, Fla.; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However, they plan to continue processing orders,manufacturing and delivering products while following safety recommendations, although Worldcast cautions that some deliveries may be delayed or postponed. The announcement also indicated they are working on “digital experiences” in order to fulfill business engagements but did not explain what these will entail.