MONROE, La. (KNOE) - These are not your normal times in newsrooms across the country and KNOE 8 is no different.
To deliver you complete and comprehensive coverage on a minute-by-minute basis, the news department is pulling on all resources while doing it in a safe and effective manner.
On Monday, KNOE 8 management, on the recommendation from Gray Media, enacted a social distancing plan to keep ten or fewer people in the building at all times. The lobby was closed on Monday and the lights went out on the northside of the building. Sales and business employees were excused to work remotely from home.
The news department is also practicing social distancing on several fronts. A professional cleaning crew sanitizes the building twice a week and all work stations are sanitized before and after every use.
After gathering facts and information from credible Northeast Louisiana officials, reporters like Tyler Wann immediately start the process of writing and editing the story from the field as they log into computers set up in the KNOE 8 newsroom.
“It's definitely an adjustment," Tyler says. "It was a little rough at first, but we are making it work and we are not going to stop.”
With the reporters, producers and anchors not under one roof, Assignment Editor Richard Sommers and News Director Brad Ginsberg play vital roles in making sure all angles are being covered. They are staying in direct contact with employees like Jessica Torricelli.
“It is a lot more communication," Jessica says. "You have to communicate through the phone a lot more to get any kind of information from your reporters, your anchors, other producers. So it's a lot of communication”
For a story of this magnitude, it's all hands on deck. My office is now off-limits and has been moved to my house where a complete edit bay is set up.
The newscasts may also look a little different as the solo anchor and meteorologist practice social distancing.
The control room is often described as the brains of the operation. Limited personnel are now on hand to prevent cross-contamination. They will continue to direct newscasts and programming on KNOE, KAQY and The CW.
KNOE is not taking this pandemic lightly and neither should you.