YouTube Suspends Sky News Australia Over COVID-19 Videos

Delta Variant Disrupting More Hollywood Productions

A debate is heating up over vaccination protocols for cast and crew members and how to enforce them.

TV Academy To Require Proof Of Vaccination At This Year’s Emmys

As cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant continue to rise across the country, including in Los Angeles County, the Television Academy has added a vaccination requirement to all attendees of this year’s Emmy ceremonies. The organization joins most Hollywood events, including premieres, now requiring proof of vaccination before entry.

Disney Fires Back At Scarlett Johansson, Calls ‘Black Widow’ Lawsuit ‘Sad And Distressing’

The Walt Disney Co. clapped back at Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson, slamming the actress’ breach of contract lawsuit for showing “callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.” In a court filing on Thursday, Johansson said Disney’s decision to send the Marvel movie to Disney Plus at the same time it was released in theaters cost her millions of dollars in backend compensation.

‘Drew Barrymore’ To Return For Season 2 With Fully Vaccinated Live Audience

The show will start production with a full-capacity audience at CBS Broadcast Center in New York on Aug. 26. The plan is to bring back audiences on a COVID-compliant set, but as we know with all productions right now this is subject to change depending on the situation regarding the pandemic next month. Barrymore joins the majority of the latenight hosts, including Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, who have recently brought back audiences.

 

‘Morning Show’ Producers Sue Insurer For $44M Over Withholding COVID Coverage

The Apple TV+ show’s producers are demanding Chubb National Insurance pay for second season delays due to the pandemic.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JAN GOLDSTEIN

Gray: Work From Home Won’t Go Away

Jan Goldstein, SVP of human resources at Gray Television, says the 9-to-5 status quo has been permanently disrupted at TV stations by the pandemic. The new world of TV HR has also been reshaped by a deeper commitment to diversity and inclusion, a greater scrutiny of future work-related travel and the blurred lines between employees’ professional and personal lives after 15 months of remote work. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

WSB Atlanta Anchor Fred Blankenship Recovering From COVID

WABC Anchor Bill Ritter Asks Unvacinated To ‘Stay Away’

COVID Still Tough Opponent For TV Sports

Just months after the major pro sports leagues resumed play after the pandemic forced an unprecedented shutdown of live sports for nearly a year, COVID-19 is still having an adverse effect on the live sports event business. While the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines has paved the way for a return of most pro sports events in 2021 — and has allowed fans to attend events at full capacity in many venues — observers said the industry has not yet declared victory against the virus.

Fox News Airs PSA Telling Viewers ‘Get The Vaccine’

Conservative Media Offers Mixed Messages On COVID Vaccine

Skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccination is a common theme in media appealing to conservatives, despite assurances from doctors and scientists that the vaccine is safe and effective. Some medical experts worry that conflicting takes and outright distrust of the vaccine shown by influential media personalities contribute to a failure to meet inoculation goals aimed at arresting the pandemic.

Fox News’ Steve Doocy Tells Unvaccinated Viewers To ‘Get the Shot’

TVN’S NEWSROOM INNOVATORS

As COVID Drags On, WDIV Finds Fresh Reporting Energy

Sometimes news innovation comes in the form of sheer reporting tenacity, as Graham-owned WDIV Detroit has shown through its long-haul coverage of the pandemic. Led by Kim Voet-Potter, a veteran news director, and featuring physician Dr. Frank McGeorge, the WDIV team has pushed itself to new creative heights in relaying critical information to a virus-weary viewership. This is the latest of TVNewsCheck’s “Newsroom Innovators” profiles, a series showcasing people and news organizations evolving the shape and substance of video reporting. Read the others here.

Fox Faces Rising Delta Variant Crisis

Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham may be railing against the dangers of the coronavirus and the surging Delta variant, but their bosses and some of their colleagues are singing a very different tune. As the breakdown between the vaccinated and unvaccinated increasingly reflect political perspectives in the pandemic and conjecture over cable news, Fox corporate is embracing the letter and spirit of both the science and recently introduced mask mandates in L.A. County.

‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 Shuts Down Following Second Positive COVID Test in A Week

Filming is paused indefinitely while the streamer and Shondaland producers create a timetable for a return to production. It is unclear whether a cast or crew member contracted the virus, but they are currently isolating.

Top Olympic Sponsor Toyota Pulls Games-Related TV Ads

The extraordinary decision by the country’s top automaker underlines how polarizing the Games have become in Japan as COVID-19 infections rise ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony. “There are many issues with these Games that are proving difficult to be understood,” Toyota Chief Communications Officer Jun Nagata told reporters Monday.

Australia Deports Commentator Hopkins For Quarantine Boast

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins was deported from Australia on Monday after she boasted on social media that she planned to breach the country’s quarantine rules. Hopkins traveled to Australia to appear in a reality television program and was in a 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine in Sydney before filming was to […]

NBCUniversal Wrestles With Pandemic’s Effect On Broadcasting the Tokyo Olympics

Broadcasting and streaming the Tokyo Summer Games already had a high degree of difficulty due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Then Japan declared a state of emergency late last week, and banned live crowds, adding all kinds of new hurdles to the massive production slated to kick off July 23. Will the events seem as powerful and captivating without the roar of the crowd? Can sportscasters communicate the spirit and substance of the games without the hoopla fans have come to expect? NBC’s top sports exec insists they can.

Local TV Connects Amid Crises

Multiple stories of a lifetime arrived in a short period of time, and all had critical local angles that viewers wanted — and needed. Above, KNTV San Jose/San Francisco/Oakland anchor Raj Mathai interviews Vice President Kamala Harris.

NEWS ANALYSIS

Despite Outbreaks Among Unvaccinated, Fox News Hosts Smear Shots

Months after Rupert Murdoch got a Covid-19 dose, one of his network’s stars, Tucker Carlson, called a Biden vaccination proposal “the greatest scandal in my lifetime.”

COMMENTARY BY OLIVER DARCY

News Orgs Should Emphasize The Big Picture, Positive News About The Pandemic

Check the news lately, and if you come across a story pertaining to the coronavirus, it is likely to be about the Delta variant. Headline after headline, chyron after chyron, push alert after push alert — they’re all seemingly focused these days on the dangers posed by this new variant. Now, to be clear, the Delta variant does deserve to be reported on. But it is also very important for newsrooms — in both stories specifically about the Delta variant and others — to zoom out and show audiences the big picture about the state of the pandemic here in the US. Otherwise, they might walk away with a skewed impression of things.

TVN TECH

Cloud Editing Capabilities Grow, Latency Improves

With adoption pushed by the pandemic, cloud editing tools have expanded to cover light-weight, heavy-weight and hybrid workflows as vendors continue to minimize latency problems. Above, Avid’s Edit On Demand provides a fully provisioned and secure virtual editing environment, complete with Media Composer cloud editing and Avid NEXIS cloud storage, that can be deployed and scaled quickly.

NATPE International Budapest Canceled Amid Rise Of Delta COVID Variant

Nielsen Finds Local COVID TV Ratings Understated At Levels Similar To Its National TV Service

Nielsen’s local TV ratings understated viewing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary findings of an internal analysis conducted by Nielsen. The analysis, which was conducted in response to requests from industry ratings watchdog the Media Rating Council, found the understatement ranged by market size, daypart and demographic group, but overall was found to be similar to an understatement previously disclosed by Nielsen for its national TV ratings estimates.

COMMENTARY BY DAVID ZURAWIK

What Can We Learn From TV’s Ability To Thrive During Pandemic?

With the return to pre-pandemic behavior in newsrooms, critic David Zurawik reflects: “Adaptability, resilience, being nimble and the willingness to improvise are some of the lessons TV can teach us from the last 15 months. But there are deeper aspects of our relationships to the screen that bear further thought, such as how important those screens and the stories told on them have become to our lives.”

Is Your Newsroom Ready For ‘The Big Return’?

Five takeaways to help you tackle “the new normal” as this year’s gradual re-opening is posing significant challenges.

Broadcasters Pledge Support for Vaccine Awareness National Month of Action

As founding members of the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 Community Corps, the National Association of Broadcasters is urging all local radio and television stations to help kick off a National Month of Action beginning June 4 to provide COVID-19 vaccine education and help ensure all Americans understand the importance of getting vaccinated. Organized by the White House […]

RTDNA-SYRACUSE SURVEY, PART 4

Local News Innovation Focuses On Streaming, Social And Coping With COVID

Close to half of local TV news directors and half of radio managers report any innovation their station took on during 2020 was to cope with COVID. Local news managers cited the “enormous logistical challenge” of moving workflows remote and cloud based. “No-contact storytelling” posed another challenge.

Stephen Colbert Getting Audiences Back

Audience members will have to provide proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before attending shows at New York’s Ed Sullivan Theater beginning June 14. Face masks will be optional.

MARKET SHARE

Morgan Murphy Stations Fighting Vaccine Hesitancy

Bill Maher Taping Canceled After Host’s Positive Virus Test

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A taping of Bill Maher’s weekly HBO show was canceled after the host tested positive for COVID-19. Maher, who is fully vaccinated, is “asymptomatic and feels fine,” according to a statement Thursday from HBO. “No other staff or crew members have tested positive at this time,” the channel said. The taping […]

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | COVID-Era Content Management Taps Cloud, AI

Technology executives from WarnerMedia, Sinclair and Hearst said at a recent TVNewsCheck webinar that they’re tackling the content management challenge amplified by the pandemic by using cloud storage and leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve indexing and searching.

Amazon Scuttles ‘The Banker’s Wife’ After COVID-Related Delays

When COVID Dropped The Curtain On Broadway Actors, TV Kept The Lights On

New and returning TV series like The Gilded Age and The Good Fight have been a lifeline for celebrated theater actors during the pandemic. Will TV, or theater, ever look the same?

MARKET SHARE MONDAY MEMO

Monday Memo | Magis Media’s Election Tool Repurposed For Vaccines

TV stations that used Magis Media’s election mapping software say a new version that tracks COVID vaccine data is much like the election display — easy to use and visually dynamic for better storytelling.

Hollywood Studios And Unions Extend COVID Safety Protocols To June 30

The extension comes as California is slowly but surely emerging from the grip of the coronavirus. All signs are pointing to Los Angeles County moving into the least restrictive yellow tier of social distancing mandates within another week or so. That will allow indoor gatherings including concerts and sporting events to be held at 75% capacity, which will be a boon to the area’s live performance economy.

TV Production Adapted To Weather The Pandemic. Now What?

The unions representing actors and crews are in talks with the studios about extending — and possibly changing — the safety protocols they agreed on in September.

MARKET SHARE

WCAU And WWSI Hosting Bilingual Vaccine Phone Bank

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Temporarily Shuts Down Toronto Production Over Off-Set COVID Contact

As the coronavirus infections surge in and around Toronto once again, Star Trek Discovery has hit the pause button on production. Months into shooting its fourth season, the Sonequa Martin-Green-led series has shuttered for the next two weeks due to a contact that was a little too close for comfort for CBS Studios. Discovery is penciled in to turn the lights and phasers back on around May 6.