NBC Revamps Schedule Over NFL COVID

The NFL’s decision to shift its Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game from Tuesday to Wednesday has led NBC to revise its primetime lineups for Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Check out the new schedules.

‘Scenes From A Marriage’ Production Halted

HBO’s Scenes From A Marriage, the adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s classic miniseries starring Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, is the latest high-profile project to shut down production as a result of COVID-19.

Brent Boynton, Longtime Reno Anchor, Dies From COVID

The Coronavirus Has Turned The NFL Into A Joke, And Nobody Should Be Laughing

NFL’s Thanksgiving Weekend A COVID Crisis

The NFL will shut down for two days to regroup from a weekend in which top teams were sidelined, a local government rendered the San Francisco 49ers homeless and the Denver Broncos had to play without a quarterback.

‘The Flash’ Pauses Production Over COVID

A team member working on the CW series The Flash in Vancouver has tested positive for Covid-19. The asymptomatic diagnosis was confirmed through the rigorous testing protocols implemented by The Flash studio Warner Bros. TV for all of its production employees. Out of an abundance of caution, production on The Flash has been temporarily suspended and contact tracing has been initiated.

TVN FOCUS ON PROGRAMMING

TVN Focus On Programming | Syndies Weather The Pandemic With Viewers Down, Ads Steady

Syndication has taken viewership hits across the board in the COVID era, but first-run’s declines have been lesser than those suffered by broadcast primetime and ad dollars have been stable. Our comprehensive look examines how syndies across the board have fared this year and what 2021 will likely have in store. Topping the list of most-advertised-in syndies is Wheel of Fortune.

Standing Out On Social In This Historic Year At NewsTECHForum

On Dec. 18, journalists from Fox Owned Stations, Gray Television and Graham Media Group will share the remarkable work they did to engage audiences on social media in when the pandemic, election and extreme weather events made local TV news more essential than ever. Register here.

Disney Raises Layoffs Target To 32,000

The company discloses that it plans to cut about 4,000 more staffers than previously targeted, mostly in its theme parks unit, during the first half of fiscal year 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis.

Your Favorite Fall TV Shows Look Normal. Making Them In A Pandemic Is Anything But

Hollywood soldiers on, but the return to set has been fraught with shutdowns, positive tests and budget spikes.

NFL Shifts Thanksgiving Primetime Game To Sun.

After the Baltimore Ravens had at least 10 positive Covid-19 tests, the NFL postponed the team’s primetime matchup against the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers to Sunday. NBC had been scheduled to air the game and had been airing heavy promotions of its three notable Thanksgiving events, with the game preceded by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the National Dog Show. It wasn’t immediately clear which network will broadcast the game, or even what time it will be played. A decision on both matters is expected later today.

Why Are So Many High-Level Execs Ditching Hollywood During The Pandemic?

While the coronavirus pandemic and recent mergers have led to widespread layoffs throughout the entertainment and media industry, a number of high-level executives still in the prime of their careers at major Hollywood companies have voluntarily bowed out to regroup and rethink their futures.

Which Trump Official Has Coronavirus Now? This Reporter Always Seems To Know First

Jennifer Jacobs, a senior political reporter for Bloomberg News, has come to dominate this only-in-2020 beat.

Will Journalists Be Considered Front-Line Workers For COVID-19 Vaccines?

The National Press Photographers Association filed a request with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices asking “that journalists who have direct contact with the public on a regular basis, and particularly visual journalists, be expressly included in the phase of the COVID-19 vaccine that includes the essential and critical infrastructure workforce.”

SAG-AFTRA Foundation Passes $6M In COVID-19 Relief Aid To Members

WBRC Anchor Talks About Getting COVID-19

NewsTECHForum: How News Will Look In ’22

Executives from CBS Television Stations, NBCU Stations, Graham Media and SmithGeiger will discuss changes looming for news programming, technology and audiences at TVNewsCheck’s virtual NewsTECHForum event in December. Register here.

Black News Channel Chooses Clear-Com IP-Based Communications System

Debuting in February 2020 during Black History Month, Black News Channel (BNC) operates out of its brand new headquarters facility based in Tallahassee, Fla. BNC is an independent network that is minority-owned and operated, whose mission is to provide intelligent programming dedicated to the unique perspective of African American communities. Almost immediately after bringing their new purpose-built […]

Fox Corp. Delays Return To Office Until April

Employees at Fox Corp. had been told to get ready for a return to their offices as soon as January. Now they will wait until at least April. In a memo sent to staffers, Lachlan Murdoch, the company’s executive chairman and CEO, said Fox Corp. will push back a full re-opening of its facilities due to the rise of coronavirus cases around the nation.

Talking TV | TV’s Pandemic Recruiting Hurdles

TVNewsCheck Editor Michael Depp and writer Paige Albiniak discuss challenges broadcasters have faced in the COVID-era, where station visits and job interviews are virtualized and TV has had to work harder to sell itself to younger prospects. 

D.C. Stations Get Creative During Pandemic

For radio and TV stations, operating throughout the pandemic and bringing us news and entertainment day in and day out required so much more than a floor lamp, some well-curated books in the background and a working Zoom link. Let’s go behind the scenes of how several stations pulled it off.

How Steve Bannon And A Chinese Billionaire Created A Right-Wing Coronavirus Media Sensation

Increasingly allied, the American far right and members of the Chinese diaspora tapped into social media to give a Hong Kong researcher a vast audience for peddling unsubstantiated pandemic claims. Above, Steve Bannon and Guo Wengui in 2017.

ViacomCBS Unveils Post-COVID Work Model

ViacomCBS is looking ahead to a post-coronavirus world, one in which approximately 70% of its more-than-20,000 employees will work at least partly from home, according to an internal memo from CEO Bob Bakish.

Rachel Maddow Returns To Air, Describes Partner’s Virus Bout

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rachel Maddow made an emotional return Thursday to her MSNBC show, saying her partner’s bout with COVID-19 was so serious they thought it might kill her. Maddow has been off the air for roughly two weeks since disclosing she had been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the […]

NFL Beefs Up Its Coronavirus Protocols

The NFL toughened its coronavirus protocols Wednesday, as it attempts to complete its season amid deteriorating conditions nationally. The announcement came as the Las Vegas Raiders continued to experience coronavirus-related issues, with a significant number of defensive players being placed on five-day quarantines that will keep them off the practice field this week in advance of Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

News Storytelling Under Stress To Be Examined At NewsTECHForum

Journalists from NBCLX, AJ+ and NBCU- and Graham-owned stations will share their novel approaches to news and weather storytelling in a remarkable year at TVNewsCheck’s virtual NewsTECHForum event in December. Register here.

How Broadcast Series Are Responding To Black Lives Matter Protests And Calls For Police Reform

A number of returning network series have made decisions to incorporate a near-real time response to the summer’s resurgence of Black Lives Matter protests, cries for police reform and general social activism into their formats. But doing so has not come without challenges and narrative changes for these already-established series, especially as production was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TVN FOCUS ON BUSINESS

TVN Focus On Business | TV Recruiting Faces Pandemic Challenges

TV stations are still hiring during the pandemic, but HR executives say they’ve had to get creative in their largely virtual environments, turning to social media and marketing tools to fill key positions, particularly account executives, producers and executive producers.

‘Good Doctor’s Schiff Hospitalized With COVID

Richard Schiff, star of ABC’s The Good Doctor, and his wife, actress Sheila Kelley, who recurs on the ABC medical drama, provided an update Monday about their ongoing COVID-19 fight. The two had tested positive Nov. 3. The Good Doctor remained in production in Vancouver following Schiff’s and Kelley’s COVID diagnosis. Shooting is continuing, with the filming schedule reshuffled to accommodate the duo’s temporary absence.

FCC Extends COVID-19 Lifeline Waivers

The FCC has extended its existing COVID-19-related waivers related to the Lifeline phone/broadband communications subsidy through Feb. 28, 2021. The waivers deal with the program’s “recertification, reverification, general de-enrollment, usage and income documentation requirements.” Without the extensions, those waivers would have expired Nov. 30.

NCAA To Hold Basketball Tourney In One City

After the timing of the coronavirus pandemic upended the NCAA tournament last season, the NCAA is taking steps to make sure it will be played in 2021. The NCAA is moving its men’s basketball tournament from the usual multi-city format to a single-site location in an effort to safely conduct the event that crowns the season’s Division I national champion, the organization said Monday.

Netflix’s ‘Dear White People’ On COVID Hiatus

Netflix comedy Dear White People is the latest high-profile series to halt production as a result of COVID-19. The series, which is produced by Lionsgate, has paused filming for two weeks after several team members tested positive for the virus. The show has been filming its fourth and final season in Los Angeles.

WKBN Anchor Stan Boney Home With COVID-19

Ivy League Cancels Winter Sports

The Ivy League canceled winter sports for the 2020-21 season, the conference announced Thursday. The conference also postponed spring sports until at least the end of February and won’t conduct competition for fall sports during the spring semester.

COMMENTARY BY DAVID ZURAWIK

As COVID Information Became Politicized, Cable Doctors Stepped Up In Major Way

David Zurawik: Confusion over statements from the current administration “is why I have come to so value the medical doctors and public health experts like Dr. Vin Gupta on MSNBC and Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Leana Wen on CNN. I have watched hundreds of appearances by them on cable TV the last eight months and have found their analyses and advice consistently informed by science and always easy to understand.”

College Football Reeling As Maryland-Ohio State Game Is Latest Cancellation

The Big Ten’s Maryland-Ohio State matchup this weekend has been canceled, joining a slate of SEC games already on the sidelines because of COVID-19 positive tests. Maryland-Ohio State was nixed after the Terrapins paused team activities Wednesday while announcing that eight players had tested positive. The game will not be made up, which could have crucial implications for major power Ohio State’s national championship aspirations in an already-shortened season.

‘Chicago Fire’ Suspends Production For 2 Weeks

NBC’s Chicago Fire has paused filming its ninth season for two weeks due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests. The Chicago-based firefighter drama shut down production on Sunday, Nov. 8. Several individuals on the Chicago Fire production team, believed to be in Zone 1, produced positive results when tested as part of the show’s COVID safety protocols.

KRDO Anchor Heather Skold Contracts Covid-19

‘The Good Doctor’ Star Richard Schiff Reveals Positive COVID-19 Test; Series Production Not Affected

NBC Buys Canadian Medical Drama ‘Nurses’

The Canadian import boom continues after NBC picked up medical drama Nurses. The network acquired the U.S. rights to the hospital drama from eOne and ICF Films. It will add the show, which features Riverdale’s Tiera Skovbye, to its primetime lineup in December.