Here’s your Wednesday roundup of some COVID-19-driven news in the broadcast industry.
— The Federal Communications Commission announced Tuesday that its March 31 Open Meeting will be live streamed via www.fcc.gov/live and on the FCC’s YouTube channel. There will be no in-person meeting due to the “COVID-19 pandemic and related agency telework and headquarters access policies.”
— On a related note, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many to speculate about whether networks are robust enough to handle a predicted increase in streaming due to increased numbers of people heeding government warnings to stay home. Analyst Dan Rayburn shared an update that indicates how things are going so far: YouTube has defaulted to standard-quality video streaming. Good thing radio broadcasters don’t have to worry about Hi-Fi and bandwidth.
— Ohio-based broadcast manufacturer The Telos Alliance it is able to remain in operation with a limited staff despite the state’s current “stay at home policy,” according to a post on the company’s Facebook page.
— Even White House correspondents need to practice caution and social distancing in the age of the novel coronavirus. Westwood One shared a photo of Bob Constantini, who was cleared to attend the Tuesday coronavirus task force news conference as radio pool reporter only after his temperature was confirmed to be normal.
— Everyone could use a little cheering up right now. Some stations think a temporary format change could be just the ticket. “Christmas in March” on the airwaves across the U.S. Stations getting press for this stunt include KEZ(FM) of Phoenix; WAJI(FM) of Ft. Wayne, Ind.; and KEZK(FM) of St. Louis.
Is your station experimenting with any format changes, either to keep up listeners’ spirits or to accommodate your staff’s work from home needs? Let Radio World know.
— UK company Glensound provided this update Wednesday about company operations during the three-week lockdown in the British Isles. First, the company says it has both a “very large component stock” and “a large stock of finished items ready for shipping.” While much of its staff is now working from home, they will temporarily have a smaller production capacity but will prioritize “order requirements.” Glensound also has bumped up online support service offering and is prepping some online webinars to provide product updates and tutorials.